Britain's Got Talent winners ranked in order of importance
Take each winner's social media presence, add in some judges' comments, explore what they did next and here's how the previous winners stack up, says Emma Daly
Those red buzzers are in action once again as Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams return to the business of searching for undiscovered talent.
But before we get to the job of crowning another champion – whether that be a singing dog, a sword fighting opera singer or, er, an underwater singing clown (nope, no idea either) – I've looked back at the previous eight winners and ranked them in order of importance. Using YouTube views, social media presence and a big dollop of my own opinion, here's how I think they stack up:
8. 2011 winner Jai McDowall
McDowall has always seemed to be the winner that just, well, disappeared. This wasn't particularly helped by the popularity of young Ronan Parke who took second place, with some of the judges even admitting they thought Parke had it in the bag. He has gathered a dedicated social media following of more than 50,000 Facebook 'likes' and 18K Twitter followers. But I've always thought Jai had a voice fit for a Disney film and would like to see that happen before I bump him up my rankings. Disney, your move.
7. 2013 winners Attraction
Hailing from Hungary, Attraction's emotionally-charged first audition has been watched more than 35.7 million times on YouTube, the judges (including Simon) getting more than a little choked up by the spectacle. It seemed this group of shadow theatre artists were destined for stardom, but while they've totted up 16.6K Twitter followers and more than 53K Facebook 'likes', an insurance advert is unfortunately about as big as it's got since. Royal Variety aside obviously, ahem...
6. 2010 winners Spellbound
Spellbound rather fabulously boast the London Olympics on their CV of work post-BGT. The gymnastic group, who perform jaw-dropping balancing acts, performed during the closing ceremony of the 2012 summer games as well as appearances during gymnastics events. They've also dazzled on Channel 4 show Stand Up To Cancer and Keith Lemons's LemonAid. Members of the group also went on to star as professional partners in BBC1 reality show Tumble. Their social media presence falls behind the other winners, with around 5,000 followers on Twitter and 4,000 'likes' on Facebook, but they seem to have found a niché market for themselves, albeit with no more Tumble to look forward to...
5. 2014 winners Collabro
Any act that can end an eight-week chart run by Ed Sheeran deserves a spot in the top five. Indeed, Collabro's debut album Stars went straight in at number one, pushing out Sheeran's smash-hit X. The five lads have a commendable haul of social media followers; 66K on Twitter and more than 56,000 on Facebook. But it's Cowell's reaction to them during their first audition that makes them unforgettable for me; when they admitted they'd only been together for a month, the sound of his eye roll could probably be heard all around the arena. Little did he know...