BGT2015: Final preview

A few months ago, a story went out that one of the changes planned for this year’s Britian’s Got Talent was that the semi-final running orders would be randomly drawn. The previous year, a late slot and qualification to the final had become more closely correlated than ever. But the format change never came to pass.

However, producers did seem keen on mixing things up earlier in the week. The first semi-final saw outright favourites – Welsh choir Cor Glanaethwy – win from the fifth slot, though their main rivals appeared even earlier in the show. Whilst the second semi witnessed dog act Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse win it from #2, whilst another pimped choir, Revelation Avenue, found themselves only fourth in the running order.

Normal service resumed from Wednesday onwards, perhaps because Tuesday had not gone quite as expected. The next three heats all had winners that performed in one of the last two slots, finishing with highly-pimped second favourite in the outright, singer Calum Scott, taking Friday’s semi from #9. I expect running order to tell us plenty about producers’ intentions in tonight’s final.

I think Cor Glanaethwy are Plan A based on their appearance in the first audition show and first semi-final. Cowell has said a couple of times during the series that he feels it’s about time a choir won the show. They’d make a useful addition to his portfolio, and are the kind of bankable Middle England act he feels most comfortable with. That makes them deserving favourites at this stage – supposedly with the safe song choice of ‘Hallelujah’ – before we know tonight’s running order.

Running them close in the outright market is Calum Scott. Solo pop singers (rather than classical ones) don’t have a great winning record in Britain’s Got Talent – only Jai McDowall has won from this genre in 2011 – thanks to Scottish support, and most likely against Cowell’s wishes. One always wonders why legal-age pop soloists aren’t being marketed on X Factor instead. Nonetheless, Scott was given a proper pimping on Friday (with the Syco tactic of turning a fun pop song into a boring dirge), and we’ll see how he’s positioned tonight.

At least the other male pop soloist, Isaac Waddington, has the excuse that he’s currently too young for X Factor. I wonder if the age difference may see them appeal to a different demographic, or if the two are to some extent fishing in similar waters and thus damaging each others’ chances. Waddington comes across as a little too privileged to win enough hearts and take the prize (and we were told his semi-final victory was a close one), but it will be fascinating to see if he or Scott get the later draw tonight.

Third favourite in the outright is dancing dog act Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse. They did well to win the second semi from the second slot, but I didn’t get the impression that Cowell or the nation at large were going to take to them in the same way they did Ashleigh & Pudsey in 2012. Given that winning act’s subsequent film flop, I’m not expecting a major push tonight.

It makes a change not to see a dance act near the head of the market. UDI and Entity Allstars were shoved on near the start of their respective heats, in a way that didn’t suggest producer favour. Old Men Grooving are novelty that has quickly worn off. Whilst if the Daily Star are to be believed, they will be joined by the confusingly-named Boyband as one of tonight’s wildcards. The last-named were given every help from the fourth-semi pimp slot, but narrowly missed out on automatic qualification to Waddington and the sub-par family singing outfit The Neales.

Tonight’s other acts are impressionist Danny Posthill, magician Jamie Raven and – according to the Daily Star – martial artist Jessie-Jane McParland as the other wildcard. If Raven can raise his game from the semi-final, he looks the most likely to do well from this this bunch.

Only George Sampson and Jai McDowall have won from somewhere other than the last two slots of the running order in a Britain’s Got Talent final. I’d be surprised to see Cor Glanaethwy perform from anywhere else tonight, but as usual it’ll be a case of hovering over Betfair in case of either eventuality. Let us know your thoughts below.

26 comments to BGT2015: Final preview

  • stoney

    I have found myself a nice bar that serves magners and will put ye final on tonight so i will be watching and cheering on the cor, who i called from the start.
    Unfortunately i can’t access betfair from greece but i don’t feel any need to hedge any bets depending on running order. If i had down that in the semis it would have been a far less profitable week for me. I have been on fire. Any arsenal fans on here can thank me for yesterday’s rout over villa. I took them at 4/7. Free money that was

  • Natasha

    Interestingly, audition show 4 pulled in the most viewers whereas the first audition show pulled in the least. I am right in saying the first audition show has always had the most viewers or is that just the first semi??

  • Don’t forget that one of the wildcards was picked by the public – almost certainly Jesse-Jane McParland after her tears on Friday night – and should therefore go into the final with a small burst of momentum. She’s a variety act also, which helps her to stand out, and if she’s given a late slot and a regional Northern Irish vote I could see her pushing for Top 3.

    I quite fancy Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse to be Top 3 – I expect the public will get behind them regardless of their treatment. I wouldn’t back at the current price though. Hopefully some value will become available tonight in-play.

    But yes, Cor Glanaethwy to win easily tonight unless the bus is coming for them.

  • Calum wins unless he is on in the first half for me.

    Happy with COR or Calum for my own book.

    • stoney

      The wide scale public backing needed to win this show won’t get behind someone who should be on the x factor. Add that to the fact cowell has predicted him as the winner and i think he’ll do well to make top 3

  • Dan

    Well my money is on Cor Glanaethwy to win tonight – for the reasons you mention Daniel, and they’ll be a Queen-pleaser at the Royal Variety Performance.

    Cowell will have plans for Calum whatever the result. He wouldn’t have been golden buzzered otherwise and the public know that – perhaps a vote dampener?

    Dancing dog acts are fun and cute but its all been done before.

    Good luck everyone!

  • Joe

    I agree with Dan that Calum has been weakened. Cowell’s public backing of Calum with his comments in the semi plus the fact he was golden buzzed through will not get the public to support him as it already appears he has enough. Also with Isaac in the final this may split the vote amongst viewers.

    Dog act now seems tired, UDI didn’t connect with second performance and magician didn’t quite have the patter to add to his tricks to wow the audience. Impressionist is a nice guy, fun personality but impressions weren’t on thr money.

    Sticking with the choir who will be on in the last 2 spots. Ideal for Royal variety and a different genre of winner.

  • Alan

    Im amazed they are letting the dog act go so near the end. Of all the acts in the final the dog is surely the one that damages the brand the most if it wins, it being so similar to a previous winner.

  • stoney

    A late slot can easily be turned into a negative with the comments

  • Joe

    Anyone now thinking Jamie Raven could steal the crown?!

  • Alan

    Makes me wonder if the dog did so well in it’s semi they think it cant be beaten.

  • Dan

    Wish I’d stuck something on the dog now. Oh well, hindsight and all that. Surprised at Calum in sixth place also. Seems like the voters are tiring of dance troups too.

  • Dan

    Here’s the voting percentages for the final:

    Jules O’Dwyer & Matisse – 22.6%

    Jamie Raven – 20.4%

    Côr Glanaethwy – 10.7%

    Old Men Grooving – 10.2%

    Isaac Waddington – 9.7%

    Calum Scott – 8.2%

    Danny Posthill – 5.3%

    Jesse-Jane McParland – 4.2%

    The Neales – 3.6%

    UDI – 1.9%

    Entity Allstars – 1.7%

    Boyband – 1.5%

  • Chelsea

    I was adamant a singing or dancing act wouldn’t win this year but I didn’t expect another dog act to win! Gutted about Jamie coming second, at 15/1 I would’ve had a very decent win. It will be interesting to find out how close it was between the two acts, if they will reveal that this year. Surprised at Calum’s sixth place finish also, I expected the fangirls to pick up the phones even after his shoddy performance.

  • I’ve just been peeking into the top few singing finalists on UK talent shows since running out of time to follow all of them closely last fall (sorry for disappearing from the board suddenly!) Saw the BGT final was today.

    While hindsight is 20/20 I have to say I am not too surprised at Calum’s placing. Yeah he connects well in spots, but there’s a certain affectation and limit to his voice and one he doesn’t seem to have any insight into. That’s what will come across on tape, not his ability to produce goosebumps live, which he only succeeded at during his audition for me anyway. I wish him well but I’ve got a hard time finding any advantages he has over Ben Haenow other than (not much more) youth.

    Isaac was very good for 15 I thought. I don’t see him as the new solo teen heartthrob, as I do not think he’d stand out enough in what is now a hugely crowded market. But I can see him with a chance of growing into a piano playing Ed Sheeran by his early 20s if he gigs like crazy, or possibly filling the Harry role in a 1D-like group ~2 years down the line, if he is interested in either of those positions.

  • Jessica Hamby

    Paul O’Grady’s show “For the love of dogs” was voted by viewers as Best Factual Entertainment Programme two tyears in a row and nominated last year. It’s a bit like Ben beating Fleur. Probably not the most talented or interesting and unlikely to have a career lasting more than 5 minutes after the show but never underestimate the power of cute. sad, puppydog eyes and a good sharp tug on the heartstrings when it comes to the public vote.

    Hindsight is always 20:20 mind you.

    • stoney

      I think following the semi final percentages tptb had a straight forward decision between jamie and jules as the winner. I remember when i backed jules and matisse to win the semi i think i was the only one on here. Yet I still hadn’t given them a chance of winning the final. I think they were way below ashley and pudsey standard. Looking at the voting statistics the choir would have been unlikely to win even if they had pimp slots in thy semi and the final. I think the fact jules and matisse won there semi from slot number 2 persuaded tptb to get behind them in the final. But yes i agree they wouldn’t have been too bothered who won as long as they got there preferred top 3. Which they did.

  • stoney

    Just seen the percentages. Tptb did me a big favour screwing henry over in the first heat to get entity througg. And Jamie will feel hard done by, could have easily snatched the win. As a neutral on both jamie and jules i would have much rathered he had won

    • Jessica Hamby

      I think it’s a timely pre x-factor reminder of what the voting public like. I couldn’t believe that Ben Haenow would last more than half way, never mind win and be the people’s choice for the last 7 or so weeks, and look how that turned out.

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