Hopefuls take centre stage one last time
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.