Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Season 3 of Britain's Got Talent has set new standards for Simon Cowell's Got Talent franchise in the country where the format originated (America's Got Talent being the first to emerge for motives external to the format itself). And now the makers of the US or of the French version will be obliged to deliver as good without copycatting this season's British lineup.

This task will be particularly hard for the French edition, which changes its name from Incroyable talent (Incredible talent) to La France a un incroyable talent (France's Got [Incredible] Talent) for its fourth season. Tip to the French producers: don't try the Susan Boyle clone - after the first appearance of the wonderful Ms Boyle your humble servant immediately had in mind that one or two of the overseas edition of GT would certainly try to xerox the BGT sensation of this season.

The winners of Britain's Got Talent second semi-final are dance group Flawless (chosen by the public) and singer Shaun Smith. Piers Morgan, a wise man, raised an interesting point (1) during the jury's choice - between Smith and excellent ventriloquist Gareth Oliver: the show is a variety show and Morgan considered Oliver had a place in the final, whereas Simon Cowell, first asked by hosts Ant & Dec, voted for Shaun Smith.

If a singer, especially Smith, wins this year what will distinguish Britain's Got Talent from the other Cowell properties, such as The X Factor or American Idol? In the UK there is for the genre a before and an after Britain’s Got The Pop Factor and Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Superstar Strictly On Ice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVKZgaDYdUg&hl=fr), comedian Peter Kay's spoof of Reality tv shows. Even Simon Cowell admitted Kay's 2008 special for Channel 4 was "clever" (2).

Dance group Diversity has the artistic and even the sociological relevance to win the series but semi-finals go on this week on ITV1 before the final on saturday. Five has shown a documentary about Simon Cowell but ITV will eventually fund a statue of the man.

Flawless: http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200240.htm
Shaun Smith: http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200239.htm
Gareth Oliver: http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200238.htm

Update (May 27): Semi-final 3 winners... Stavros Flatley - choice of the Great British Public (http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200250.htm) and Shaheen Jafargholi (http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200249.htm). My favourite act of the evening: Floral Highnotes (http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200253.htm).

Please see also:


(1) http://talent.itv.com/videos/video/item_200241.htm
(2) http://www.mirror.co.uk/celebs/news/2008/10/25/x-factor-exclusive-simon-cowell-takes-swipe-at-peter-kay-s-spoof-single-115875-20836882/

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