Every dog has its day - and that was certainly the case last night as Ashleigh and the hugely loveable Pudsey became the first act to make the Britain’s Got Talent finals!
In the first semi final of the series, 17-year-old Ashleigh and her beloved pet were the stand out performance of the night and received a standing ovation from all four judges.
Simon even proclaimed that the dynamic duo were “what he has been waiting for his whole life.”
The show kicked off in true variety fashion with Zipparah Tafari, also known as Mr Zip, performing his trademark catchy song Where my Keys?
David said: “I predict this will be a number one hit record and will be voted most annoying number one of all time.” We think you might be right David!
The 49-year-old rapper from Manchester stepped up his performance since his audition, dressing sharp in a black suit and adding scantily clad female dancers.
Amanda suggested that her mum could help Mr Zip with a B-side to his track after she changed the words to "Where's my glasses? Where's my pills?"
Up next were the toe-tappingly infectious Jive Aces who brightened up the stage with their yellow suits and swinging rendition of The Bare Necessities.
Unfortunately, the six-piece left Simon cold with their semi final performance.
He said: “I think it was fun. But from the auditions to the semi-final I expect a step up. Based on that performance I don’t think you have a cat in hell’s chance of winning.”
Hotly-tipped 12-year-old Lauren Thalia was the third act to take to the stage with her acoustic version of Earthquake by Labyrinth.
The young singer looked at home on the stage, playing her guitar but was criticised by Alesha for not doing “the most perfect vocal.” However, Alesha did say that the tween’s personality “shone through in abundance” and praised her “organic talent.”
David tipped the Hampshire lass as a “star of tomorrow” and Simon said she was “very, very cool.”
He said: “What I love about you is that you’re singing a song you love, you’re fearless and very very cool.
“I also love that you’d rather be playing music and making money instead of doing your school work. I think you’re a little star.”
One act not set for stardom was United We Stand (UWS) who were buzzed by both Simon and Amanda during their dance interpretation of Romeo and Juliet.
The troupe, from East London, were told by Simon that their performance was “indulgent” and “boring”. Amanda thought the 14-member group hadn’t stepped up enough from their audition.
Violinist Analiza Ching was touted by Simon as the best act of the night so far by a clear mile after playing The Pretender by The Foo Fighters.
Simon said: “Absolutely fantastic. Loved the song choice, this is what we’ve been looking to find in this competition. By a clear mile the best act of the night.”
Alesha called the musician, who wore a daring black leather mini dress, a “foxy lady” and Amanda confessed that she thought the 29-year-old was “a girl that needs to be put on after the watershed!”
Continuing the strong performances was Manchester vocal group, The Mend. Bringing 80s classic I Just Died in Your Arms by Cutting Crew up to date by mashing it with Tinie Tempah’s Written in the Stars, the fours lads had the ladies in the audience – and judge Alesha - swooning.
She said: “I love you guys. Everything just works – your style is on point, your vocals are on point.
“My only criticism is that you didn’t come close enough to us!
“You guys could get signed today.”
Clearly the public thought the same, voting The Mend into the top three.
Mum-of-two Rachel Knowland failed to excite the judges with her “safe” performance of The Ronettes Be My Baby.
Simon said: “It’s one of my favourite songs but my problem is that you didn’t put your stamp on the song. I’m not going to remember that in 10 minutes.
David retorted: “I’m not going to forget that. I think you’re a real timeless star, so congratulations.”
The female judges focused more on Rachel’s style, envying her white mini dress which was covered in sparkling silver stars.
The atmosphere in the studio seemed to change when dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey hit the stage.
The “brilliant partnership” astounded the judges and the audience, with Pudsey giving a flawless performance.
Simon said: “Honestly, I’ve had a lot of dogs in my life, but never one like this.” This got a huge laugh out of the crowd.
He continued: “Ashleigh, you did a fantastic job as well.
“This is what the show is all about, I loved it. I loved you.”
Closing the show were Welsh schoolboy choir Only Boys Aloud. Their strong performance of the hymn Gwanhoddiad was said to be “inspiring” by Alesha and it was enough to get them into the top three.
After a performance of the new single from X-Factor judge and former N-Dubz member Tulisa, Ant and Dec gathered the nine hopefuls on the stage to announce the results.
Cheers went up in the audience as Ashleigh and Pudsey received the most votes.
It was then up to the judges to choose between The Mend and the 140-strong choir, Only Boys Aloud.
David Walliams plumped for Only Boys Aloud, as did Amanda Holden. Alesha Dixon – who had nailed her colours to The Mend’s flag ahead of the results – voted for the Manchester band and a torn Simon also voted for The Mend to ensure the decision went back to the public vote.
An ecstatic road filled the air as Only Boys Aloud were chosen to perform in Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent final along with dancing dog act Ashleigh and Pudsey.
Who was your favourite? Leave a comment.
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