Backstage at Britain’s Got Talent it’s go, go, go as Monday night’s nine acts prepare to take to the stage for semi-final two. In between rehearsals, costume fittings and make-up I managed to grab time with some of them – and catch up with people behind the scenes to get the gossip.
Here’s what I found out ahead of tonight’s second live show:
Fake eliminations are good luck
During the rehearsals the acts do a run-through of everything – including the dreaded elimination. Names are picked out of a hat to make it fair, as seven acts are (as with the real show) ‘sent home’. But it seems like this works in the acts’ favour as I’m told history dictates that if you’re voted out in the final part of this pretend elimination (ie, third place), you tend not to get voted out on the real show. Handy.
There’s a lot of love for Kathleen Jenkins
Singer Kathleen Jenkins lost out on a spot in the final last night after the judges sent the final decision back to the public vote, giving Mel and Jamie the second place.
As viewers vented their frustrations on Twitter, it seems those backstage agree, with some who work on the show telling me they see her as a strong contender for this year’s publicly-voted Wildcard act. On Thursday night we’ll be able to choose between all of the acts that take third place, with the favourite joining the final line-up on Saturday.
Alex Magala is doing something he’s never done before
Sword swallower Alex Magala has to pre-record his performance for tonight due to safety concerns. It’s perhaps no surprise: despite having taken part in many Got Talent shows around the world (including winning Russia’s Got Talent) I’m told he’s attempting something he’s never done before…
No one wants to see that go wrong.
I can confirm I’ve already seen everyone’s favourite paramedic (OK, my favourite paramedic) backstage, too.
Anne and Ian Marshall thought Simon Cowell had pushed the Golden Buzzer for them
I caught up with David Walliams’s Golden Buzzer act Anne and Ian Marshall, who admitted that during their audition they actually thought it was Simon Cowell who’d pushed it for them! “David was going, ‘It was me!'” said Ian. “Me and Anne were looking at each other!”
As for tonight’s performance, now firmly on ‘Team Walliams’ the duo promise it will be upbeat, jam-packed with dance moves – “including the Marshall shuffle” – and tease “extra elements”. They wouldn’t tell me what they were singing, but told me to expect an audition focussed on their love for each other.
….but they’re worried they’ll disappoint David Walliams
The duo are worried they’ll “disappoint” their Golden Buzzer giver David Walliams because they’re not doing a Beyonce number. “He wants us to sing Beyonce,” the pair admitted. They said the judge will be just as surprised as we are by what they do, but the lack of Beyonce might be a sticking point.
But the judges may want to be wary of hitting a red buzzer during their act, with Iain warning he’d have something to say if someone did.
“It could put people off voting,” he said. “It’s not fair on us or any other act that’s come this far,” added Anne.
I’m personally excited to see their outfits. Anne made hers last time but tonight she’s handed over to the costume team (although she said she’s had an input). Iain jokes his is a tad itchy. That’ll just help the funky dance moves, right?
Rachel Wooding is hoping for tears – in a good way
Former West End star Rachel Wooding is hoping her next number will move people. “Tears – in a good way,” she teased.
She wowed with a track from Ghost the musical last time; tonight’s is not a musical number but is a ballad.
“I’m getting more nervous but I feel a lot better than I did yesterday. Today I woke up and thought, ‘Yes, let’s do it!’ I watched last night’s and that’s what made me nervous thinking ‘Oh my god, it’s happening!’”
As for the response she’s had from some viewers about her stage experience, Rachel says she was expecting it to an extent.
“I feel like it’s all part and parcel of it and I’ve just got to keep positive. The thing is, that’s the career that I’ve had, and I absolutely loved it. I can’t get rid of that experience and I don’t want to.”
She said it was important to her that her experience was made clear on the show – “I call a spade a spade” – but is generally staying away from the resulting comments.
“I’m just not reading it, what I don’t know won’t hurt me.”
“I want to sing really well, no matter what happens,” she added. “That’s the most important thing.”
Wayne Woodward has changed his song… today!
Singer Wayne Woodward has revealed that he got so bored of rehearsing his song for tonight that he’s decided to change it… today! It caused a few waves thanks to the last minute nature of it all.
“I had it so ready, I sung it so much I got bored of it. I changed it today. The dancers didn’t like that, no one really liked that idea because they’ve had to change the choreography and stuff. But I just want to enjoy it up there, even if I’m singing Spice Girls I’ll try my best! It’s going to be good.”
Wayne revealed he’s had exciting new work offers since his audition aired – including singing at people’s weddings in the US.
But he wanted to put one rumour to rest – namely gossip that he’s trying to woo judge Amanda Holden.
It’s been “blown out of proportion”, Wayne said. “I haven’t got a thing for Amanda, she’s a lovely young lady, she’s pretty, just like Alesha and loads of other people, but I’m not trying to get her in my bed.” That’s that then.
As for his dad, who got his own share of attention after accidentally breaking a chair during Wayne’s audition, he’s “more nervous” than Wayne.
“I think all the family are. But he’s going to stay seated and not break any chairs. He won’t be doing it this time.”
See Britain’s Got Talent tonight from 7:30pm on ITV