Britain’s Got Talent runners and riders for the 2016 final

From the act that deserves to win, to the one with the perfect timing here's the acts our resident BGT addict Emma Daly is backing this year...

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The Britain’s Got Talent judges have had their say on which acts are fit for royalty, with 45 now left to battle it out for victory. Before they each take to the stage in the live semi-finals, I’ve had a good look through the list – scratched my head, changed my mind, dithered…. (this judging lark is tough) – and picked out the acts I’ll be keeping an eye on en route to the final.

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From the act I think deserves to win to the one who would be a perfect fit for the Royal Variety Performance, here are my BGT 2016 runners and riders:

The act that deserves to win: Darren Altman

There’s something about impressionist Darren Altman that makes me feel like he’s the good guy worthy of a big break. His impressions never faltered and we’ve obviously only seen a small amount of what he can do. The 42-year-old from Surrey impersonated everyone from Jeremy Clarkson to Boris Johnson in his first audition. He’d be a great fit at the Royal Variety performance and you just know he’d build in a clever royal angle. 

The act you shouldn’t write off: Richard Jones

Jamie Raven almost scored the first win for a magician last year, finishing up second place meaning Richard Jones could be the very first to do it. While magicians used to get a rough time on the show, this year has felt very different. Jones’ audition was slick, clever and I bargain you could pause and rewind your telly for three days straight and you still wouldn’t be able to spot how on earth he turned a fizzy drink into a hot cup of tea. The story seems to write itself as far as the Royal Variety Performance goes too, what with Jones’ background with the Household Cavalry

The act that will probably win: Beau Dermott

Its about time a Golden Buzzer scooped victory (here Amanda Holden’s choice) and 12-year-old Beau would be a worthy winner. Her rendition of Wicked’s Defying Gravity was so good she even earned the backing of original star Idina Menzel. I think we’ll see another goosebump-inducing performance from Beau and – in years to come – a glittering stage career. 

The act whose win would be perfect timing: Boogie Storm

What better time for a group of dancing stormtroopers to arrive than when Star Wars is at fever pitch? I confess that after my initial elation, I’m concerned the act – which bagged Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer – will struggle to surprise now we know what their schtick is. But then, only a fool would underestimate Simon Cowell. He’ll throw the kitchen sink at this. 

The quietly confident one: Balance Unity

Insider sources told me that had the judges not used all of their Golden Buzzers by the time Balance Unity took to the stage (real name Taylor Goodridge) it was highly likely he’d have walked away with one. the 17-year-old’s routine was clever – particularly his nod to BGT royalty Susan Boyle – and he’s clearly a very talented chap. At this stage I’d say he’d be a surprise winner, but a welcome one. 

The act that ticks the most boxes: Elite Squad Royalz

Passionate kids with excellent dance moves dressed as the Queen’s Guard with another making a cameo as the Queen… it’s everything BGT is about all rolled up into one act. Despite appearing in the first episode I’ve not forgotten this act throughout the whole series and think they would be a fitting winner for the tenth anniversary year. 

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The BGT semi-finals kick off Sunday 22nd May at 7:30pm on ITV