Britain’s Got Talent’s unchanged formula makes it a banker for Simon Cowell and ITV while the fortunes of Cowell’s other show, The X Factor, have been declining in recent years. Who can blame him, then, for trying to bring a bit of BGT magic to The X Factor launch this weekend, with the introduction (sort of) a BGT staple, the Golden Buzzer…
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So impressed was Cowell with singer Janice Robinson – who brought a bit of ’90s nostalgia to Saturday night’s show by performing her club classic hit Dreamer – that he told her “Even though it’s a different show and there won’t be any confetti, this is a golden buzzer,” before pretending to slam down the button.
The buzzer may not have been real but the effect was – just like in BGT, it sent Janice straight through to the next round, regardless of the other judges’ votes.
Not that Janice was likely to have had any problems there. The whole panel had been on their feet dancing during the song and afterwards Robbie Williams had a tear in his eye while delivering his verdict.
“Your voice and your song has been a major part of the soundtrack of my life,” he said. “I was transported to a time there, to a person I used to be. They were incredible times for me.”
And while the Golden Buzzer per se is not yet a permanent fixture of The X Factor, this year the show is introducing a Britain’s Got Talent-style twist in its Six Chair Challenge. During the round, every judge will have one guaranteed ‘safe seat’ to give to a singer in their category.
The new feature means that no matter what happens in the fraught challenge, the singer in question won’t lose their place. And that sounds very similar to how BGT’s Golden Buzzer sees acts safely into the show’s semi-final.
Perhaps it won’t be too long before we’re treated to The X Factor’s first dancing dog…
The X Factor is on 8pm Saturdays and Sundays, ITV