When Britain’s Got Talent goes live it means much more than simply the acts returning to perform. It means the judges are live. Live and with microphones.
History demonstrates that this is like a red rag to a bull for Amanda Holden and David Walliams, who know they can no longer be edited out by Simon Cowell. But the latter can certainly hold his own when it comes to off-the-cuff banter too. And when there are women on stage having to check that their nipple tassels aren’t still on fire (thanks Ruby Red), and Walliams’ Golden Buzzer Lorraine Bowen is floating around singing about space, there’s plenty of stuff to riff off.
But who’s ahead on the judging panel? Here’s how the judges are shaping up each night (with scores in italics)…
Amanda Holden kicked things off on semi-final night one after Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer act Entity Allstars took to the stage with a Harry Potter-themed dance performance:
“Of course, you’re all waiting to hear from Voldemort…” she said, opening the floor up to Cowell.
Amanda 1 Simon 0: A brave effort to brand the boss the scariest wizard of all time, and a solid Harry Potter joke to kick off the night.
But Simon didn’t skip a beat.
“Coming from a witch…”
Simon 5 Amanda 1: Even on his Firebolt broomstick, Harry Potter himself wouldn’t be that quick. Cowell takes the lead.
Amanda, not one to be beaten, scooped up her glass of water ready to pour over Cowell’s head.
Simon 5 Amanda 2: That could have tipped the scales in her favour, but Amanda was stopped by Cowell, so only an extra point for the idea. And it’s witches, not wizards, who are melted by water, right?
“It’s too early for that,” Cowell warned.
Not one to be left out, Walliams soon entered the ring mocking Cowell’s choice of outfit.
“He’s got £1bn, but can’t afford a jacket,” quipped Walliams.
David 0 Simon 5: David wasn’t expecting anything else was he? After all these years even we know to expect an unbuttoned white shirt from Mr Cowell.
Cowell didn’t say anything to retaliate, but later buzzed during the performance from Lorraine Bowen, David’s own Golden Buzzer act. Coincidence? Perhaps.
David 0 Simon 6: Always a little mean to buzz during a semi-final performance – Lorraine told Simon it had definitely put her off – but proved Mr Nasty can still take charge when the show is live.
Come semi-final number two it was actually young dancers Groove Thing who kicked off the banter wars, insisting Mr Cowell was most definitely alive in the 70s. Hopping off the back of their gag, Amanda quipped:
“You remember the 70s right, Simon?’
Simon 6 Amanda 2.5: Simon stays ahead after last night, but Amanda creeps up half a point. Would have been better if she’d got the joke in before the kids, eh?
So far behind on points, David turned his banter away from the judges’ table and towards hosts Ant and Dec after dog trainer Jules took the stage with two dancing dogs.
“They can do so many tricks, there could be a chance for them to host the show next year,” Walliams teased.
David 1 Ant & Dec 0: An interesting new tactic and one the lads didn’t have a retort for. A point to Walliams.
And it seems Dec was up for the game, turning his wit on his own co-host:
Introducing singer Alison Jiear Dec taunted: “The only notes harder to reach are the ones in Ant’s wallet.”
Dec 1 Ant 0: You know what they say, keep your enemies close and your friends closer. A point to Dec.
Back over at the judges’ table and Walliams landed a direct hit on Simon Cowell:
Fresh from watching Luca dance in his jaw-droppingly high heels, David mocked:
“I thought you’d like it, a man in high heels. That’s what you wear every day.”
David 4 Simon 6: Much better than the white shirt jibe, leaving Cowell unable to retaliate. David gets a big boost in points.
How will things look after tomorrow night’s third semi-final? Check in tomorrow…
The Britain’s Got Talent semi-finals continue each night on ITV at 7:30pm