During the day, Britain’s Got Talent had been the subject of a huge internet conspiracy theory. Simon Cowell’s people quickly threatened legal action against anyone repeating the allegation that [REDACTED] had been [REDACTED] by [REDACTED] two years ago, was completely [REDACTED] before the auditions and would now be [REDACTED] as a [REDACTED] Justin Bieber.
The blog that started this had massively, maliciously overstated the extent to which Cowell controls his shows. Nevertheless, once the idea was in your head, mystery was everywhere you looked in the fourth semi-final.
First up were the Dance Angels. One of the elders explained their awfulness: “Since all our music changed, we’ve had six days to put all this together…” Changed? Who changed it? Ant and Dec moved swiftly on.
Jessica Hobson was next. She’s a pale, rather lovely kook who, in her audition, simply stood at her keyboard and sang. Now she stepped awkwardly forward to do a patently ludicrous cover of Single Ladies.
Said an angry Jessica: “I didn’t choose what I wanted to sing. Apparently it was somebody…” At this point Jessica maddeningly tailed off, like a dying murder witness in a hard-boiled film noir, but with death replaced by sobbing. Ant and Dec moved swiftly on.
By now I was feverishly looking for remote-control aerials sticking out of Mexican Mayhem’s chihuahuas, but no fixer could have created Mexican Mayhem.
People overuse the word “surreal”, thinking it just means “odd” when, strictly speaking, it denotes the use of fractured narrative and incongruous juxtapositions to create a dreamlike insight into the soul.
Mexican Mayhem were surreal. One chihuahua danced through hoops, then climbed up a pyramid while the other chihuahua watched. Then their owner poured two glasses of tequila and put them on the floor. The chihuahuas ignored this. But one of them sat on a sombrero. Then their owner did the splits and couldn’t get up again. FIN.
Someone had fiddled with Out of the Blue. They used to be an egregious comedy act. Now they were still horrible but a serious singing group, dressed by a bored stylist as the Dalton Academy Warblers from Glee.
They’d also changed their name to the clunky “Out of the Blue: Class of 2011”, which had the air of a rushed legal compromise. We should be told.
At the business end, loud singer Jai McDowall and endlessly brilliant dancer Steven Hall went through, so more on them at the weekend. No controversy in the judges voting off Edward Reid: changing the lyrics of songs just wasn’t funny a second time.
But then, finally, a real example of how Cowell pulls your strings. Despite going on about not knowing any of the acts, he announced that he personally was bringing Michael Moral back, to take on Razy Gogonea in the last semi.
That’s right: if you thought Sunday’s dance-off between Moral and Razy was a manipulative contrivance, this is twice as contrived and manipulative! Bravo!
In the morning, BGT was on the front of every single tabloid, so even the nasty conspiracy blog turned out to be priceless PR. Tin hats on, everyone.