Hope­fuls take cen­tre stage one last time

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

While The X Fac­tor may ap­pear to be on bor­rowed time (we'll give Olly Murs a se­ries' grace to find out if he can boost its flag­ging rat­ings), some peo­ple are say­ing the show's cre­ator Simon Cow­ell is los­ing his golden touch. And the likes of Red or Black? and Grease Is the Word were hardly as suc­cess­ful at his Idol, X Fac­tor and Got Tal­ent fran­chise, were they? Nev­er­the­less, the lat­ter of that smash-hit TV trio con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength. It has now spawned spin-offs in over 50 coun­tries and the Bri­tish in­car­na­tion still looks just as fresh and ex­cit­ing as it did when it made its de­but back in 2007. In Bri­tain’s GotTa­lent Fi­nal (Sun­day, ITV, 7.30pm), the cur­tain falls on the ninth se­ries of the tal­ent search, and it has been one of the best so far, with a plethora of rough show­biz di­a­monds tak­ing their chance to sparkle. As well as the usual de­luded tal­ent­less per­form­ers be­ing given their 15 (well two) min­utes of fame, and pro­vid­ing Ant and Dec with priceless com­edy ma­te­rial, over the last eight weeks view­ers have wit­nessed some re­mark­able acts tak­ing to the stage. Among those who have beat the buzzer and got the magic four yeses were a group of dads danc­ing to hip-hop mu­sic, a con­tor­tion­ist from Es­sex, a Rus­sian tram­po­line artist, a bur­lesque dance troupe from Hull, and a com­edy hyp­no­tist with a pet dog. Although th­ese acts have added va­ri­ety, it seems most of the ma­jor con­tenders for the prize of £250,000 and the chance to per­form at this year's Royal Va­ri­ety Show will once again be singers and dancers. Crooner Calum Scott, who was the ben­e­fi­ciary of Cow­ell's Golden Buzzer, and Siberian shadow dance sen­sa­tions UDI were the front run­ners with the book­ies be­fore last week's semi­fi­nals got un­der­way. They were closely fol­lowed by soul­ful singing group Rev­e­la­tion Av­enue, Ban­gor-based choir Cor Gle­naethwy, op­er­atic singer Emma Jones and five-piece Lon­don dance act, Boy­band. How­ever, don't be sur­prised if there's an up­set tonight. Af­ter all, Scot­tish singer Su­san Boyle was a mas­sive odds-on favourite back in 2009, and ended up los­ing out to dance group Di­ver­sity. Boyle has proved to be some­what of an anom­aly in the show, as she's ar­guably the only run­ner-up who has man­aged to carve out a lu­cra­tive post-BGT ca­reer.

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