Vincent Ralph discusses the latest controversy surrounding the Saturday night favourite.
Britain’s Got Talent is used to creating audience discontent in one form or another.
First there was the question of age, asking whether critiquing children – and filming the inevitable tears that followed – was entertainment or a step too far.
Then there was the decision to invite mockery of a certain contestant’s appearance before flipping our expectations while never quite appreciating how those with fragile mental states will cope with overnight stardom.
From there came the question – asked year after year – as to why the show is still even called Britain’s Got Talent given that contestants now travel from across the globe to compete.
More recently there was the case of the stunt-double dog and the understandable furore that followed.
And now this season is all about recycled talent, with Saturday’s show seeing one act that had previously reached the final of Got to Dance and another that was Talent alumni having already made the final of the American version.
Ben Blaque’s crossbow act was undeniably brilliant; the problem is, he had done it all before on BGT’s sister show in the States.
With sword swallower Alexandr Magala openly admitting he was doing the rounds when it comes to these competitions – and that he won the Russian equivalent – we now seem to be watching not so much everyday people desperately seeking their big break, as professional talent show contestants flitting from one to another.
With the sheer number of these shows – and the lessening pool of truly outstanding talent as a consequence – it was bound to happen eventually.
But one cannot help but think of those people who may never be discovered as a consequence of those who have been there and done it all before – albeit in a different country or on a different show – taking their two minutes in the spotlight.