Saturday, April 24, 2010

Britain's Got Talent: Topless fire eater's porn star past
By James Tapper

Too hot for TV? Fire eater Tia Brodie during her blazing act

The topless fire-eater who impressed the two male judges last night on Britain’s Got Talent has appeared in pornographic films.

Exotic dancer Tia Brodie advanced to the next round of the ITV talent show after singing the Kasabian song Fire while running a burning torch over her skin, wearing only high heels, knickers and two patches over her breasts.

The show’s creator Simon Cowell said he ‘loved it’, while fellow judge Piers Morgan said he would like to ‘see more’ of her act.

Only the third member of the panel, Amanda Holden, was critical, dismissing the performance as a ‘brilliant new way of hair removal on the legs’.

Flexible: Brodie bends over backwards

Saucy: Brodie in a modelling pose

Ms Brodie, 33, who has worked in the sex industry for nine years, said she was not ashamed of her past.

But media campaigners last night criticised ITV, saying the sexualised performance was inappropriate for Saturday night family entertainment.

Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, said: ‘This show is watched by thousands of children. ITV push the boundaries and push them again. It’s an erosion of standards that we have to resist.’

Ms Brodie claimed she had not intended to go topless for the audition. ‘I had brought along a liquid to spray on clothing so it becomes fireproof but it didn’t work so I couldn’t wear the top I wanted to wear.

‘For health and safety reasons I had to do it without the top otherwise I would have set myself on fire.’ Ms Brodie left school with eight GCSEs and two A-levels. She worked at a magistrates court in Kent and became a legal secretary before giving up her career in 2001 to be a pole dancer and stripper.

She then became a porn model, setting up her own agency in 2002, and she has worked for adult TV channels. She has also been a clerk at polling stations during local elections, but is not working at next month’s General Election.

Ms Brodie said: ‘I stopped all my work in the porn industry in 2008. I started a relationship and thought that if the boot was on the other foot I wouldn’t want him going with anybody else.

‘I’d like people to look at my act as it is now, not what I’ve done in the past. Simon was very, very sweet. Piers had a poker face so I just didn’t know what he was thinking.’

Asked what she thought the Queen would make of her if she wins the contest and appears at the Royal Variety Performance, Ms Brodie said: ‘She’d find it different, unique, entertaining. I reckon she’d like it.’

Nervous: Christopher Stone sang Maria from West Side Story

An ITV spokeswoman said: ‘Britain’s Got Talent aims to reflect the diversity of talent in the UK. It offers equal opportunities to all performers who operate within the law.’

Singing accountant Christopher Stone also appeared on last night’s show – but only because his mother Janine secretly entered him in the contest.

Mr Stone, 29, said: ‘My parents sacrificed an awful lot to give me a musical education. I’m really glad mum entered me.’

After giving a nervous, but powerful performance of Maria from West Side Story, Cowell told Stone he needed to work on his stage presence.

Balancing act: Gymnastics troupe Spellbound amazed the judges and the audience

Don't look down: One of the Spellbound gymnasts flies through the air

He said: 'Christopher, the issue with you is your lack of conviction and lack of self-belief from you... I think you've got a really, really good voice. Do we have a star?'

All three judges unanimously put the accountant through to the next round.

Another act which brought the house down as gymnastics troupe Spellbound.

All three judges were visibly amazed and watched nervously as the group threw each other up in the air, did somersaults mid-flight and became a human triangle.

Cowell said: 'I have never seen anything like that in my life. I thought once again we were going to get some really boring gymnastics display but that was very clever, very smart.'

Not so original: Lady GaGa impersonator Maxxie

Amanda Holden added: 'It was absolutely faultless. Some of the stuff that was going on I didn't think was humanly possible. Outstanding. Absolutely incredible.'

Another act doing something completely different was a group of Oxbridge sixth-formers called The Arrangement.

A group of classically-trained musicians shocked the audience when they performed a mash-up of Flo Rida's Low, Lady GaGa's Poker Face, Beyonce's If I Were A Boy and the Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling.

Originally buzzing the act in the first few seconds, Cowell soon changed his mind.

He said: 'It was like you were performing at a school ball but somebody spiked your drinks. It was like something out of a movie, but you were serious

Something different: Classical group The Arrangement gave their own take on pop songs

One act receiving mixed reviewing was cross-dressing Lady GaGa impersonator Max Oliver.

Wearing a typically GaGa-esque wig and tiny outfit, Oliver sang and dance and flashed his behind, much to the disgust of Cowell.

He said: 'Maybe when you first appeared on stage there could have been a little bit of confusion between you and Lady GaGa. And then you started singing. The singing just got worse as it went along. It was just awful, awful, awful.'

Despite his disdain, Holden and Piers Morgan appeared to enjoy it - as did the audience - and put through Oliver to the next level - partially to annoy Cowell.

One act Cowell was taken with was Laika, a Collie Labrador billed as the only dog in the world that plays guitar, who is the star of tonight’s show.

Strumming along: Melissa and her guitar-playing dog Laika

But as viewers will see, guitar heroes Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page can rest assured that their status is under no threat from the pooch.

Laika pads on to the stage dressed in a hat and coat and immediately steals the limelight from owner, busker Melissa Serbico, who launched into a decidedly eccentric version of The Beatles classic, Let It Be.

As Miss Serbico, 38, originally from Ireland, who now lives in East London, fails to enthral the audience, Cowell’s attention quickly shifts to Laika.

A known animal lover, Cowell, 50, tells fellow judge Holden: 'See those are the kind of dogs I like. I like old, nobody wants me dogs.' He then mouths to his fiancée, Mezhgan Hussainy: ‘I want that dog.’

Miss Serbico boasts: 'Laika is the only dog in the world that plays the guitar. I’ve checked it on the internet and all the other ones are fakes. Simon has never seen a guitar playing dog before and he’s going to love it.'

Balancing act: Sinead plays the guitar while jumping on a pogo stick

However, Laika – who shares the same name as the soviet space dog which was the first animal to orbit the earth in 1957, but unfortunately died in the process – seems to have other ideas.

When the London audition begins, seven-year-old Laika initially sits next to Miss Serbico, only to look away in the opposite direction.

Presenter Ant McPartlin says: 'I’ve never seen a dog look embarrassed before, until now. That dog looks embarrassed.'

Miss Serpico is then seen asking the dog to join in and play guitar and even Cowell is seen trying to coax the dog into playing. The method by which the dog plays the guitar is by brushing her paws against the strings.

Animal madness: A gymnast shows off her skills on a horse called Allie, who defecated on stage to the disgust of the judges


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