9. Mr Zip: Where me keys?
“Have you ever been in that situation where you lost your keys and your mobile?” Well, as it happens Mr Zip, I have, thanks for writing a catchy ditty about this nightmare scenario. This audition from 2012 is priceless, from the silent scream on Simon’s face when Mr Zip leaves the stage to shake his hand, to Ant and Dec joining in at the end. Plus any song that comes with dance moves (in this case, dramatically checking your pockets in the manner of an old school ASDA ad) deserves a vote. Despite staying in our heads for years and getting a hastily thrown together music video with T shirts and carnival dancers, this song failed to make the UK top ten. Out. Rageous.
8. Attraction (shadow theatre)
The idea of BGT has always been to showcase variety acts, and yet we usually end up watching a parade of singers, street dancers and grannies with a crush on David Walliams. So when someone comes along with a truly original act it makes us sit up and take note. In 2013, this Hungarian theatre group wowed us all with a simple shadow screen and some dancing. No fuss, big feels. And nothing to do with C4 show Naked Attraction, in case you were worried…
7. Masked Magician X
Before we all became obsessed with the Masked Singer, a masked magician, simply known as “X” got everyone talking on last year’s series. Even Simon looked interested, and he famously can’t stand magic acts. Despite the impressive tricks and creepy Alexa-style voice, all we wanted to know was the magician’s true identity. Was it Stephen Mulhern? Sinitta? Joe Pasquale? Actually it turned out to be former contestant Marc Spelmann.
6. Twist and Pulse
Despite turning up dressed as a low rent PJ and Duncan tribute act, dancing duo Twist and Pulse (aka best friends Ashley and Glen) had an awkward charisma we couldn’t help but fall for. And body locking skills to slay their opposition. They even went on to win BGT: The Champions, which nobody saw coming.
5. Paul Potts
Let’s take you back to the start – the show’s first winner back in 2007, Paul Potts was the unassuming opera buff who stumbled upon superstardom. Back when Amanda had dark hair and was forced to sit next to Piers Morgan on the panel, Paul whipped out his version of Nessun Dorma and the rest was history. He also went on to have the dubious honour of having his life story played out on film by James Corden. You can’t win ‘em all.
4. Stavros Flatley
It shouldn’t have worked. The concept is, quite honestly, ridiculous. But Greek-Cypriot father and son double act, Demetri and his 12-year old son Lagi tore up the stage with their hilarious and endearing take on Riverdance. Simon called the performance one of his favourite ever dance acts and it will go down in BGT history as one of the most joyful auditions the show has ever seen.
Diversity shocked the world (yes the entire globe was watching by then) by beating shoe-in Susan Boyle to win BGT back in series three. Boy did they deserve it though. Never had we seen a dance act so slick, quick and innovative. Ashley Banjo‘s choreography was just exceptional – and it also meant Saturday night telly viewers could pretend they were cool by getting temporarily obsessed with some street dancers.
2. Susan Boyle
It was the audition that changed everything back in 2009: SuBo became a superstar, BGT broke YouTube and it seemed for a moment that anyone with talent could have their moment in the spotlight. All these years later, you can’t deny the power of this audition – or the dollar signs in Simon’s eyes.
1. Ashleigh and Pudsey
Sorry SuBo, you lost out again. But just look at Pudsey’s little face! This audition was what Simon, and dog lovers everywhere, had been waiting for – an animal act that wasn’t just cute, but also genuinely impressive and entertaining. The bond between teenage handler Ashleigh and her dog shone through, and their act proved irresistible. Forget meeting the Queen, let’s hope Pudsey got some sausages to celebrate.