Back in 2014, Britain’s Got Talent introduced an exciting twist for series 8: each of the judges would be able to select their favourite audition and send that act straight through to the semi-finals. The golden buzzer is now one of the best bits of the format, but how many of the acts do you remember?
Here’s our comprehensive countdown of every golden buzzer act on the series so far (with the exception of BGT: The Champions).
35. Christian Spridon – David’s choice, series 8
One of Christian’s goals on the show was to become friends with Beyonce and Lady Gaga. As far as we know that hasn’t happened yet, but his high-energy rendition of the Tom Jones hit Sex Bomb won him a fan in David Walliams. The other judges weren’t so keen. “What the bloody hell did you do that for?” said Simon, after David pressed his golden buzzer. “That was appalling”.
34. Lorraine Bowen – David’s choice, series 9
David strikes again! Lorraine walked out onto the stage with an ironing board, a keyboard and song dedicated to the best winter dessert: crumble. Simon, Alesha and Amanda buzzed within a few seconds to get Lorraine off the stage, but David had that mischievous twinkle in his eye. So straight through to the final she went!
33. Anne and Ian Marshall – David’s choice, series 10
This husband and wife duo had been married for 44 years when they arrived at BGT and were devoted to each other. Lovely. But their re-arranged rendition of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love was less romantic, more ‘let-the-earth-open-and-swallow-me-up’ cringe. Obviously David loved it. ‘I just knew David was going to do that,’ quipped Simon after the golden buzzer glitter fell down.
32. Toju – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 10
Not the funniest comedian we’ve seen on the show, but Toju’s impressions of Cilla Black and stand-up comedy about the perils of dating certainly impressed Ant and Dec. He didn’t make it past the semi-final.
31. REAformed – Alesha’s choice, series 8
Alesha couldn’t resist this talented three-piece girlband. Not only did they say she was their favourite judge (always helps, doesn’t it?) but something about them reminded her of the early days of her own group, Misteeq. Definitely not a scandalous choice of golden buzzer…
30. Kojo Anim – Simon’s choice, series 13
The second comedian on our list, Kojo was an old friend of Alesha’s who had been working on the circuit for many years. His stories from his childhood and rants about customer service at banks went down a storm and shockingly it was Simon who championed him. “I don’t really like comedians on this show but I love you,” he said.
29. Boyband – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 9
Despite the name, this is actually a dance act (confusing, right?). Their smooth moves and backflips to Bruno Mars impressed all the judges and earned them a standing ovation, but it was Ant and Dec who made their day.
28. Giorgia Borg – Alesha’s choice, series 13
This 10-year old from Malta made the brave decision to sing an original song in her audition. The risk paid off as Alesha told her, ‘It takes a lot to move me and you have floored me with your vocal and lyrical capability, this is unbelievable.’
27. Chapter 13 – Amanda’s choice, series 13
This young rock band got together when they were performing in West End musical School of Rock. Their medley of Stevie Wonder songs got all the judges rocking out and Amanda couldn’t resist putting them through to the semis.
26. Entity Allstars – Alesha’s choice, series 9
Before we reached saturation point with dance crews, this cheeky group cropped up with moves Diversity would be proud of. Slick, innovative, energetic, their performance really got the crowd going. Including a sample of Misteeq in their routine proved a smart move as Alesha couldn’t help pressing her golden buzzer.
25. Matt Edwards – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 11
Matt faced an uphill battle to get through his audition, when the judges were immediately put off by his demeanour and silly style of magic (there was actual eye-rolling). But he warmed them up and soon had them eating out of the palm of his hand. Ant described Matt’s act as “like watching Lee Evans do magic”.
24. Sarah Ikumu – Simon’s choice, series 11
15-year old singer Sarah made a bold choice performing Dreamgirls power ballad And I’m Telling You, but it paid off. The judges couldn’t believe such a powerful voice could come from such a young girl, and they all predicted superstardom for Sarah.
23. Honey and Sammy – Amanda’s choice, series 14
Amanda fell in love with this mother and daughter duo when they told their powerful story. Mum Sammy had just got the all-clear from cancer, and Honey asked her to audition with her. Simon stopped them mid-audition but they came back with a hastily-prepared rendition of Freya Ridings’s hit Lost Without You and smashed it.
22. Revelation Avenue – Amanda’s choice, series 9
This choir’s gorgeous performance of Katy Perry’s Roar brought the house down and their effortless harmonies brought such a smile to Amanda’s face, she had to champion them. “I loved the togetherness there, it was just magnificent,” she told them.
21. Nabil Abdulrashid – Alesha’s choice, series 14
Croydon comedian Nabil pulled off the tricky task of making an audience laugh in the weird context of a BGT audition. The judges all found him funny, but it was Alesha who laughed loudest at Nabil’s stories, which gave a funny spin on the way in which society views his religion and the prejudices he has faced in his life.
20. Lifford Shillingford – Alesha’s choice, series 12
Former Artful Dodger singer knew Alesha from back in the day, but it was his rousing rendition of Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come that made her reach for the golden buzzer. “It takes courage to come back in this industry when it has knocked you down, you deserve this,” she told him.
19. Fayth Ifil – Simon’s choice, series 14
12-year old Fayth chose a massive song to perform in Tina Turner’s Proud Mary, but wow did she have the confidence and charisma to make it work. Her fun audition stunned Simon – he loved everything about it, gave Fayth his full support and even pressed the golden buzzer to prove it.
18. Bars & Melody – Simon’s choice, series 8
When little Leondre was bullied at school he put his experiences into a rap, which he performed as part of a duo with friend and singer Charlie. The two boys charmed the judges, Alesha ended up in tears and Simon gave them the ultimate seal of approval. They proved a hit with the public too, finishing third in the final.
17. 100 Voices of Gospel – Alesha’s choice, series 10
After the initial struggle of squeezing such a huge choir onto the stage, a powerful performance of This Little Light of Mine proved to be one the most energetic auditions we’ve ever seen on the show. So impressive the judges ended up bickering about who would press the golden buzzer – Alesha beat Simon to it and he was gutted. “I am so irritated,” he grumbled.
16. Daliso Chaponda – Amanda’s choice, series 11
This immensely likeable comedian got the audience laughing before he even started his act. His stand-up routine about single life, his experience as a cleaner and the credit crunch kept everyone entertained and Amanda buzzed him through in the hope a comedian could win the series, but he finished third.
15. Paddy & Nico – Amanda’s choice, series 8
When 79 year old Paddy Jones stepped onto the stage with a much younger dance partner there was a SuBo-style air of cynicism and David even said the pair reminded him of one of his Little Britain sketches. But the act proved impressive, inspiring and ultimately golden-buzzer worthy, proving that age is just a number after all.
14. Akshat Singh – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 13
Akshat, 13, from Mumbai came to England with two objectives: to make everyone happy and show people nothing is impossible. He stepped on stage in a polo shirt and bow tie, launched into an exuberant solo dance routine featuring everything from the splits to cartwheels and breakdancing, and his enthusiasm was infectious.
13. Sign Along With Us – David’s choice, series 14
Four year old Christian struggled to communicate with his family until big sister Jade taught him sign language. The siblings led an energetic group of singers and signers in an emotional performance of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman that left all of the judges crying. David didn’t hesitate to send them straight to the final.
12. Gruffydd Wyn Roberts – Amanda’s choice, series 12
It was a difficult start to opera singer Gruffyd’s audition when Simon stopped him half way through. But like Paul Potts before him, Gruffyd wowed with his second song, Nessun Dorma and the rest was history.
11. Jon Courtenay – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 14
Pianist Jon was just thrilled to have the chance to play at the London Palladium for his audition, without even contemplating what might come next. He managed to hold his nerve and seized the moment – his quirky, autobiographical, BGT-inspired ditty charmed Ant and Dec and won over the nation too.
10. Jack & Tim – Simon’s choice, series 12
Everything about this father and son country music double act from Norwich was completely adorable. They wrote a song together called The Lucky Ones reflecting their special relationship and Simon loved it.
9. Jasmine Elcock – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 10
This impressive 14-year old singer delivered an unexpectedly sophisticated, slowed-down version of Cher’s Believe and her voice was much more powerful than anyone could expect of someone this age. Alesha was left in tears, but it was the boys who pressed the buzzer.
8. Boogie Storm – Simon’s choice, series 10
Turns out that stormtroopers aren’t the chattiest bunch, but boy can they dance. Watching them swing their hips to Fleur East before bursting into Gangnam Style is the most weirdly mesmerising experience, and just wait until they start on Single Ladies. Against everyone’s expectations Simon went mad for it, calling the performance a “dream come true”.
7. Beau Dermott – Amanda’s choice, series 10
It always leaves us feeling a bit nervous when children step out onto this stage alone. But 12-year old Beau had all the confidence of a seasoned performer, her rendition of Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked was exceptional and Amanda was blown away.
6. Mersey Girls – Alesha’s choice, series 11
Formerly known as Just Us, this contemporary dance troupe was led by Julia, a young girl seizing her last chance to perform before undergoing surgery for scoliosis (a spinal condition). Simon was so moved that he paid for Julia’s operation.
5. Kyle Tomlinson – David’s choice, series 11
This was a great moment. Sheffield lad Kyle, 15, had auditioned a couple of years before, when David had told him he needed to get a singing teacher. So that’s exactly what he did. His performance of Hallelujah got a massive reaction from the crowd and was enough to finally impress Mr Walliams.
4. Flakefleet Primary School – David’s choice, series 13
If you’ve seen the film Nativity you will instantly understand what this audition is all about. A popular class teacher making his kids’ dreams come true by taking them on a big stage to have their moment in the spotlight. The children’s costumes all depict the lyrics of Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now and the result is so uplifting it leaves David sobbing.
3. Marc Spelmann – Ant and Dec’s choice, series 12
Magicians have a notoriously tough time on BGT but Marc wowed the audience two years in a row – in 2018 as himself and in 2019 as the mysterious masked magician. It was his first outing on the show that got him a golden buzzer though as he weaved in magic with the emotional story of his young daughter. Simon was “absolutely gobsmacked” and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
2. Donchez Dacres – David’s choice, series 12
Now THIS is what BGT is all about. A 60-year-old man in a gold shirt singing a ridiculously catchy song. Wiggle and Wine gets everyone shaking their hips, Ant and Dec crash the performance and David is so inspired he even gives Simon a lap dance. Utter chaos, channelling Peter Andre circa Mysterious Girl. No wonder David pressed his golden buzzer.
1. Calum Scott – Simon’s choice, series 9
It’s easy to forget that Calum Scott’s heart-breaking cover of Robyn’s Dancing on My Own was first heard on the BGT stage back in 2009. Calum had to follow his sister, Jade, who had also auditioned but failed to get through to the next round. His spine-tingling performance won him a golden buzzer from Simon and the adulation of the audience. Despite only finishing 6th in the final, this song eventually reached number 2 in the UK charts and Calum went on to a huge career in music. The most impressive part is that this audition sounds identical to the radio version.
Have your say: who do you think is the best Golden Buzzer act from Britain’s Got Talent?
Britain’s Got Talent will return to ITV this year.