The Britain’s Got Talent buzzers are loud. Really loud.
I was in the crowd watching a recent round of auditions in Birmingham and spent most of the time with my hand on my chest looking all surprised and embarrassed to no one in particular.
You know, like your mum does when you tell her the neighbours put their plastics in your non-recycling bin?
Even the total stranger next to me felt she needed to put a comforting arm on mine when I leapt four feet in the air for the sixth time.
And it was a day filled with buzzers. I should have got used to it. The judges are definitely getting fiercer. They’ve seen it all before.
A dance act? Pah. You need to be a dance act with a difference to get past these eagle-eyed judges. Twelve years old? Try the other sob story. Simon Cowell "wants death", Amanda Holden told me last week. Oh, and a guitar playing, singing animal.
There’s the door people.
The brand new golden buzzer had been used the day before I arrived. I was gutted. I was rather looking forward to returning to the office, triumphant with news that I’d indeed seen this spangly new trick in action for the first time (then again, it’s bound to be even louder. It involves glitter, lights, music… I’m not sure I’d have coped). Its purpose is to allow each judge one chance to whizz an act straight past the rest of the audition stages and onto the live shows.
Amanda pressed hers for a salsa act. Goodness only knows what moves they pulled off to earn that. Or perhaps they recited their plans to end global warming as they sashayed around the stage?
The crowd was just as ferocious as the judges. Between the screeches for Cowell and co to turn around and wave at them, there were cheers of "OFF! OFF! OFF! OFF!" And most of the acts in the two hour filming slot were indeed off the stage and out of the competition. No second chances, no puppy dog eyes to melt the crowd's hearts.
If any of them had had a buzzer I think I’d still be sat at home in my bathrobe trying to recover.
And putting those pesky buzzers to one side, if acts were in any doubt as to what Simon was thinking, he’s taken to showing his boredom or displeasure by miaowing into the microphone. Talk about catty comments.
Good luck everyone…