It’s a tough ol’ world out there for female magicians who want to be the star of the show instead of always playing the “assistant”. At least, that was the message of Josephine Lee‘s act as she performed live in the Britain’s Got Talent semi-final.
But while Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams were all on board with the idea, Simon Cowell was simply – well – bored.
Josephine, who has denied having a secret twin to help with her illusions, said in her pre-recorded narrative that she wanted to “re-write the story of females in magic”. She began her show with a narrative about powerful female magicians being accused of witchcraft, showed off her escapology skills by escaping from chains, before performing a classic box trick.
“The word assistant suggest inferiority: a secondary role to the fearless magician who stands proudly enchanting his audience,” she said on the voiceover.
But Simon was unimpressed, saying he had been irritated by the narrative and the performance and telling her, “I don’t think you’ve got the showmanship.” And while Josephine had used a disembodied pair of female legs to prove her point, the BGT judge found them one of the best bits of the show. “I like the legs,” he told her.
Simon Cowell's giving a first class lesson on diversity tonight to Josephine. "Didn't like the commentary. Liked the legs". Oh dear ?? #BGT
— Ben Glazier (@MrBen_G) May 31, 2017
— Bill Dove (@metrostress) May 31, 2017
Less of a fan of Simon Cowell's only feedback being 'I liked the legs'. Sexism is alive and well in prime time television!!! #bgt
— Lauren ? (@laurenevie_) May 31, 2017
— loz (@p4perbacks) May 31, 2017
But other viewers felt the act hadn’t been up to scratch.
#bgt Simon was right about Josephine. Her act was boring and poor. We get she's a woman, blah blah, just do magic and wow us, and she didn't
— Naino (@oddsocks25) May 31, 2017
@BGT totally agreed with Simon on Josephine that voice over was getting right on my proverbials !
— Sophie Claude taylor (@SophieClaudeta2) May 31, 2017
Josephine__Lee I agree with Simon. Great act ruined by patronising condescending voice over. Felt I was at a lecture. DIstracting #BGT
— Tim Paton (@Timbone_Returns) May 31, 2017
But will she have a chance to return to the BGT stage in this weekend’s final?
Britain’s Got Talent continues tomorrow on ITV