Sunday, April 18, 2010

Britain's Got Talent
By Mail On Sunday Reporter

Standing ovation: Chloe Hinckinbottom sang Dame Vera Lynn's White Cliffs of Dover, and won a standing ovation from the audience at Britain's Got Talent

Last year's Britain's Got Talent brought us the unexpected global superstar Susan Boyle.

So as the show returned to screens last night, the contestants could have been forgiven for harbouring dreams of replicating her success.

Sadly for most of them, that's simply not going to happen.

But for 10-year-old Chloe Higginbottom, whose note-perfect rendition of Vera Lynn's White Cliffs of Dover won a standing ovation, it just might.

Chloe from Walsall, West Midlands, delighted the audience and the much-harder to please judges with her performance.

Judge Amanda Holden told her: 'I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't that. I can't believe you have such a full voice.'

Piers Morgan said: 'I shut my eyes and you could have been 40 or 50 years old.'

He added that it would be 'hard to imagine a better act' than Chloe to perform the Royal Variety Show, the prize for the winner.

Surprise hit: Tina Humphrey and her rescue dog and 'soul-mate' Chandi impressed with their ballet routine

Dog's life: Tina and 'amazing dancing' Chandi accept the applause

Critics have previously questioned whether young children should be allowed to compete in a show where contestants are put under such high pressure.

Last year singer-dancer Hollie Steel, also aged ten, fled the stage in tears when she forgot the words to Edelweiss, before being allowed to perform again.

Regulator Ofcom received 50 complaints expressing concern for her welfare.
But Chloe and her proud parents appeared prepared for the strain of being on stage.

She walked off in tears of joy after winning a place in the second round.

Talking heads: Potato-eating parrot Max and its owner Irene

Luck of the Irish? Contestant Jimmy Forde tries to impress the judges with his leprechaun outfit and Irish jig

However, she did admit that she had been scared to perform in front of her family until now.

She said: ‘I wouldn’t even sing in front of my family – they’d only ever heard me singing Vera Lynn through my bedroom door and thought it was a CD.

‘Most of the time, I sing at home, with a brush in front of the mirror and sing my heart out. Now I’d like to be as big as Susan Boyle this time next year.’

Vera Lynn has been a favourite of Chloe’s since she saw her on the internet entertaining troops in the war.

‘I used to watch videos of Vera on YouTube singing to the troops and I thought to myself, “Why can’t I just get up there and give it just one big massive go?”’
Chloe added that she would love to sing a duet with Dame Vera, now 93.

Joker: Telesales executive, and stand-up comedian Dave Levalle got the thumbs down from Louis Walsh within seconds of cracking his first mother-in-law joke

You spin me right round: Hoop-juggler Pippa the Ripper shows off her skills

As equally popular, was Tina Humphrey and her self-styled 'amazing dancing dog'.

The pair's carefully cheoreographed routine won the hearts of the audience, with rescue dog Chandi overcoming her 'sore leg' to get four yeses from the judges.

And Simon Cowell has already said that this year he would like a 'really, really talented dog act' to win.

'Personally, I would love to find the next Lassie,' he said.

What are these guys doing in dressing gowns? A clue: they're called the Cheeky Boys

Ah, that explains it: The Cheeky Boys do the full monty with their balloon act

Joining Chloe and Chandi on stage was a motley crew of performers.

Jimmy Forde bonded with Walsh over their shared Irish heritage, but didn't impress with his leprechaun outfit and jig.

Telesales executive, and stand-up comedian Dave Levalle got the thumbs down from Walsh within seconds of cracking his first mother-in-law joke.

And despite their advancing years, The Cheeky Boys shocked with their risqué balloon act, which involved shedding their clothes, protecting their modesty with nothing more than balloons.

Others to audition included Kevin Cruise, who came on stage on a bubble-blowing skateboard with a cruise ship picture on it.

Back to front? Tobias Mead's quirky act has to be seen to be believed

And Tobias Mead, 22, turned his back on a promising football career to pursue his passion for street dance.

His routine impressed, but he must be hoping to avoid the fate of former winner George Sampson, who is now performing at Butlins.


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