Britain's Got Talent 2012: grand final - as it happened

Dog or opera? Re-live what was almost certainly the greatest night in BGT history, blow by blow!

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Britain's Got Talent 2012: grand final - as it happened
Written By
Jack Seale
7:38 THE MEND will, it seems, kick off the BGT final. Classic footage of them being phoned by the judges and being shocked to hear that they are the wild card, despite the film crew there with them.

7:39 Comment From SpecialFriedRice Yep, it's The Mend, smugging their way onto the stage and 'blap blap blapping' all over the shop. Can't say I'm enthused.

7:42 Very underwhelming rapping and singing with a strange stage invasion at the end and a general 90s Europop vibe. "Anything can happen," says Simon Cowell, although surely Britain voting for that rabble is out of the question. I may leave the country if I am wrong.

7:46 BGT goes straight to ads. Both sides refused to engage fully in the 15-minute face-off there, with The Voice bunging out the inessential team perfs, and BGT sacrificing The Mend to the scheduling gods.

7:49 Next up it's the mimsy Norfolk "singer/songwriter" SAM KELLY. With Ryan O'Shaughnessy doing his own material, will Sam respond or will it be another drippy cover?

7:51 Bless the Broken Road by, among others, Rascal Flatts. This isn't very well known, is it? Surely Sam isn't trying to pass this off as his own composition...

7:52 Comment From jane On the edge of my seat waiting for your BGT fashion critique. Should we all be following David W's matinee screen idol look? Is Amanda's 'do' cutting edge or 40s throwback? Does Simon have any other clothes? I need to know.

7:55 I won't be copying Amanda's look myself, Jane, although I think the picture editors on the Daily Mail's Sidebar Of Shame will be a bit disappointed with the dress. I will be going down to Mac tomorrow to ask what lipstick Sam was wearing, though. Actually I think it might be Revlon Super Lustrous Fire & Ice.

7:56 Sam in the end, with Simon's help, played the Look At Me, I Know An Obscure Song And I Was So Deeply Touched By The Emotion Of It I Bravely Sang It When I Could Have Done Beautiful By James Blunt card.

7:57 Just checked and Rascal Flatts have soared to number 125,398 in the iTunes charts.

8:00 Next, NU SXOOL. Thousands of dance troupes applied for BGT this year. None of them were much cop. Nu Sxool are in the final.

8:04 That was just children dancing about quite well. I know they're small but compared to Diversity it was like a bus queue being splashed by a van driving through a puddle.

8:06 Next, MOLLY RAINFORD! Has anyone checked the lyrics of her song for rampant inappropriateness? Probably not. They didn't the other two times.

8:07 Comment From SpecialFriedRice "You're my favourite ever contestants". Simon Cowell there, building up the hopes of children regardless of the fact they can expect to be crushed by the cruel mallet of reality later.

8:08 This isn't that good. SOMEONE PRESS THE BUZZER! Go on.

8:10 Of course they were right not to gong off an 11-year-old but poor Molly was rather lost there. Almost inaudible at times. Just enter in five years' time!

8:12 I keep thinking wow, she's really short. But she's not, she's ELEVEN. Still, she did a good chat with Ant and/or Dec. LOVEABLE ROGUES coming up after the break.

8:14 Simon said Molly has "thrown a bomb under the competition right now", which at first I thought was a terrible thing to say to a child. Then I remembered throwing bombs under things isn't acceptable at any age. But I don't think she has, in any case.

8:14 Comment From Pippa Now I'm imagining a war between Simon's bombs and explosions vs. will.i.am's missiles

8:20 Awright missus! Clean yer winders? It's LOVEABLE ROGUES! So loveable, so bloody rogueish. Oh, the naturally funny banter between them. They can't drive properly! Girls love them! I think I hate the one on the left most.

8:25 A new song from the Rogues there, with fewer brand names, which was something, but otherwise, yeech. Chorus saying "my roots will keep me honest". Good lads, mum's home cooking, family, old school, work hard, a few cheeky pints, me old nan god love 'er, pie and mash, THREE FOR A POUND, can't say fairer than that, the Old Kent Road, luv a duck, knees up etc. They will win this, mark my words.

8:26 Next up it's the bionic 16-year-old and his lodger, KAI AND NATALIA. Natalia wears daring caramel PVC.

8:26 Comment From Bolt Natalia always seems like she is starring in "The Red Shoes" - she is not allowed to Ever. Stop. Dancing.

8:29 I can't really concentrate on Kai and Natalia, obsessed as I am with the thought that Kai, despite being 16, looks like he could probably kill me with his bare hands and squire my wife at the same time. That was their normal frantic jive, but they've made the classic Strictly final mistake of cramming in too many lifts. For the most part Kai was throwing Natalia - who admittedly is injured - around like a butcher with theatrical aspirations.

8:29 He can't be 16. He's 26. It's a typo nobody's picked up.

8:30 Comment From Mic 'I think the viewers will forgive the slip up in the middle.' Perhaps, if you all stopped pointing it out...

8:32 Now, AQUABATIQUE! Ant and Dec go outside to the big BGT tank. Aquabatique have Union Jacks and 2012 references all over the shop. They could have gone to the Olympics, you know. I'm about as impressed by this as I would be if someone came on and did some weightlifting, or archery, or the biathlon.

8:33 They're not TOTALLY synchronised, are they?

8:37 The judges argue about whether that was a good bit of sychronised swimming, manfully ignoring (as I did) that they really have even less of a clue if it was good than they do for the other acts. I enjoyed Dec's microphone on an enormous pole, though.

8:42 Back from the ads and it's RYAN O'SHAUGHNESSY. Breaking news on the girl he's singing all his songs to: she's moved to Azerbaijan to live as a man.

8:45 Ryan sings his greatest hit, the one from the original audition. You have to say he sang that superbly, and he'll benefit both from the song being familiar and, conversely, from it being his own song. Ryan's right up there in the running, I think.

8:45 Comment From Bolt I am a bit annoyed. Ryan is good - very good - so I can't make a snarky comment about him. Are The Mend coming back soon? That will help.

8:47 Still the opera bloke and the dancing dog to come, of course, so don't get overexcited. Before that, though, it's THE UNDER-15 MALE POPULATION OF WALES.

8:47 Sorry, I mean ONLY BOYS ALOUD.

8:50 Only Boys Aloud really haven't thought this through. Any career they have will be fatally undermined by the need to split their appearance fees and royalties 150 ways. Look at Spelbound: lots of big gigs, but now sleeping rough under a discarded pommel horse. The financial management just couldn't be done.

8:51 There's just too many of them. I keep thinking they'll start singing: "We're going to Wemberlee, que sera sera."

8:53 "Every single one of you gave it 100%," says Simon. Collectively that's a BGT all-time record total of 500,000,000%.

8:56 Only two acts left but they are, of course, the huge ones. The girl and the dog. And the shy tenor and his friend who couldn't sing to begin with but then could. Who will win? Will either of them beat Ryan or the population of Wales?

8:59 It's ASHLEIGH AND PUDSEY! Imagine the pressure on Pudsey right now, knowing that Simon Cowell and, by extension, Britain are desperate to see a dog win Britain's Got Talent. I hope he can keep it together.

8:59 Tell you what, if Pudsey sings a song he's written himself, this is in the bag.

9:05 Good stuff from Pudsey and whatsername, a bit conceptual, with a sojourn down to the judges' desk and a nice bit where Pudsey walked on her feet. The judges are completely overcome and start extending their comments to canine welfare generally, seeing Pudsey as a sort of Martin Luther King figure who could eradicate doggie-bashing with his inspirational controlled gambolling. Incredible scenes.

9:11 Right then, it's JONATHAN AND CHARLOTTE. Initially Jonathan was told he was a much better singer than Charlotte, but he stood by his hot friend, on principle. Then in the week, she shocked everyone by singing brilliantly herself. They're the favourites, they're on last... here we go!

9:15 Aced it. If anything, Jonathan was a bit subdued there - Charlotte was carrying it for much of the song. Was it better than a 16-year-old girl in a catsuit lying on the floor and a dog jumping on her in time to the Mission: Impossible theme, though? Hard to say.

9:15 Comment From lizzieG What was Simon doing to Amanda's back?! Fantastic singing from Jonathan and Charlotte, sent tingles down my spine.

9:17 So far as I could see Simon was conducting to the special music that constantly plays in his head. He was making conductor-type gestures but they didn't seem to bear much relation to the music. I don't think he was making contact with Amanda, that would have been weird.

9:20 Watching the recap and, well, stating the obvious but it's between the last four. Ryan, Wales, the dog or the opera people. Jonathan and Charlotte reminding us that they're 16 and 17 - which is fairly amazing - could swing it.

9:21 Making a triumphant return to the BGT stage now, it's JAI MCDOWALL!

9:21 Comment From cassieW Maybe Jonathan should sing whilst rolling around with pudsey-the ultimate act!!

9:22 Not really. It's Diversity. This is cruelly humiliating for the terrible dance troupes who auditioned this year.

9:28 Ads time. In case you've not realised, the results are coming up later. They're not in a separate show tomorrow. Susan Boyle next! And perhaps there's time for Stavros Flatley.

9:34 Susan Boyle sang You'll See by Madonna. Er. It was alright.

9:35 Montage of this year's series, including David Walliams saying, "I feel like I've found my family at last." Much has happened since then.

9:39 Seamlessly segued into David Walliams actually on the stage now, with The Sailormen or whatever they were called. Hilarious! All three judges hilariously press their buzzer, although Amanda only remembers to do it after they've stopped. Hilarious. So funny.

9:39 Before the result, let's hear what winning means.. it's JAI MCDOWALL!

9:39 Not really, it's the 2012 finalists saying what it WOULD mean.

9:48 David Walliams messing about there while Simon does his speech about it being the greatest final ever. SO fired.

9:49 Here we go then. Dog or opera? DOG OR OPERA?

9:50 Ryan not in the top three, but Jonathan and Charlotte are. Pudsey offers them his congratulations even though he's waiting for his announcement. Classy.

9:50 Ah there we go, Pudsey is in the top three with Jonathan and Charlotte. DOG OR OPERA?

9:52 It's either Loveable Rogues or Only Boys Aloud in the top three. The other act is going home. (Top three acts have to live in the studio for ever.) It's ONLY BOYS ALOUD! So it's them, or the dog or the opera. DOG OR CHOIR OR OPERA?

9:52 In third place it's... ONLY BOYS ALOUD.

9:52 I'd already typed that. Not a surprise. DOG OR OPERA?

9:53 DOG OR OPERA?

9:54 The winner is... ASHLEIGH AND PUDSEY! Dog beats opera. Opera beats choir. Choir smothers dog.

9:54 Comment From Matthew DOG!!!!!

9:54 A dog has just won half a million pounds.

9:56 Comment From Andy The British public never fail to surprise me, How could a dancing dog beat such an amazing voice??!!

9:56 Comment From Pippa Simon says "My life's work is now complete." Does this mean he's going to retire...?

9:58 ASHLEIGH AND PUDSEY - your winners, Britain - perform again. Simon promised to dance with Pudsey, but doesn't. Pudsey totally ballses up the walking on the feet bit and muffs the ending. Lost it.

9:59 That's it! No more Britain's Got Talent until the next one. Thanks for joining me on this night of all nights. It's been... long. Nighty!

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