The performer asked Cowell and fellow judge David Walliams to parttake in his show, and proceeded to get them on stage wearing masks, turning Cowell into a dummy and Walliams into a faux ventriloquist (Tamley did both voices, as the mechanical mouths on the masks moved along in sync).
Cowell was clearly displeased, as the singer made jokes directed at the pair, and asked the BGT stalwart to do the can-can.
And he was fed up by the time Tamley tried to get the two of them into a wooden box to close out his performance – at which point he removed his mask and attempted to walk off. But Tamley managed to get him back on stage, and strapped the mask back on to his face, ending his act as he had intended. It made for pretty awkward TV.
Check out a clip of the performance below.
Viewers were split over Cowell’s reaction, with some feeling that he should have played along for the sake of Tamley’s act.
“Simon Cowell needs to get over himself just a bit!” Tracey Davies tweeted. “What a bad sport – felt quite bad for the guy.”
#BritainsGotTalent Simon Cowell needs to get over himself just a bit!! what a bad sport – felt quite bad for the guy
Other viewers, however, felt that Cowell was put in an awkward position, and was within his rights to try and escape the situation.
“Can people stop having a go at Simon Cowell for walking off stage,” Sarah Caldwell tweeted, “it was evident it was completely out of his comfort zone and he couldn’t cope with it. Not spoilt, not an idiot, just human.”
David Steedman concurred. “Sorry, but if you don’t like something, you don’t have to do it,” he wrote. “I say fair play to Simon Cowell for doing exactly what he wants to do.”
Can people stop having a go at Simon Cowell for walking off stage, it was evident it was completely out of his comfort zone and he couldn’t cope with it. Not spoilt, not an idiot, just human. #BritainsGotTalent
Sorry, but if you don’t like something you don’t have to do it. If it had been me sitting there I’d have done the dance but it would have made me feel awful and uncomfortable. I say fair play to Simon Cowell for doing exactly what he wants to do. #BritainsGotTalent
Can’t blame Simon Cowell for walking off there, with the way the ventriloquist guy tried to get him off of the stool by shoving him in the back and grabbing his leg to pull him off of it… #BGT#BritainsGotTalent