They’re the switched-on youngsters who’ve gone down a storm with the judges and the public in this year’s Britain’s Got Talent. Charlie Lenehan and Leondre Devries – aka Bars & Melody – hit headlines last month when their anti-bullying twist on Twista and Faith Evans’ hit Hope saw Simon Cowell reach for his golden buzzer, sending them straight to the semi-finals.
Since then they’ve jetted to Los Angeles to appear on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and booked their place in Saturday night’s BGT final. Radio Times caught up with the boys to talk Cowell, Ellen and how their anti-bullying rap is inspiring the world.
Why did you go on Britain’s Got Talent?
Leondre: Because we felt that we had a message to deliver to people. We felt that it was important to express our feelings to the world.
Leondre, your rap was inspired by your personal experience of being bullied – what would you say if you came face-to-face with the bullies now?
L: I’d say whatever’s happened is in the past, whatever I’ve done to you I just want to say I’m sorry. Can we be friends?
Have you heard from others who have been bullied?
L: The reaction we’ve got to our song has been so amazing. We’ve had people sending big stories saying how the people who used to bully them have apologised because they felt bad.
You’ve made it all the way through to the final – do you still feel nervous going out on stage?
L: I feel like I’ve got into it a bit more, like we’re professionals. It just feels like we’re born to do it.
What was it like having an entire auditorium cheering for you after your first audition?
Charlie: It was crazy. By the second verse we couldn’t really hear anything. L: I started crying. This is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened to me.
You got Simon to push his golden buzzer – did he give you any advice?
C: He did call us aside and said to stay the way we are and don’t change. Be the person we want to be. Pretty inspirational words coming from him. L: He’s such a nice guy, you couldn’t expect how nice he is. He’s got quite a warming voice – it’s very easy to like him. C: When you walk on the stage and look at him, he’s so intimidating and for him to compliment us and say all that stuff was amazing. L: I listened to every word. You don’t understand how many times I’ve watched that audition. C: I think our families have watched it more than us.
You’ve just hit 30 million hits on YouTube…
L: My dad must have watched it at least 10 million times. C: It’s incredible that it’s reached so many people, even in different countries – people saying they appeal to Leondre’s story and how we’re trying to help people. I’d like to help people how I did with Leondre when I first met him. L: I feel like this doesn’t happen to normal people like us and it has. It’s the best feeling. I think it gives people the perspective that anyone can make it.
You’ve already squeezed in a trip to America to go on The Ellen DeGeneres Show – did you get recognised over there?
C: Yes, it’s the greatest feeling ever to know that people almost halfway across the world know who you are and have heard your message. L: I mean, Ellen DeGeneres heard our audition. I was fangirling when I met her. She came backstage and we gave her a BAM sandwich.
Whose career would you like to have?
L: Definitely One Direction. It would be an honour to be in the position they’re in now. C: How far they’ve come from going on The X Factor and how much they’ve achieved in the last couple of years is amazing. To be able to achieve something like that would be pretty good.