I however, braved another Truman Show-style storm this week to pop over to Wembley to watch Cowell and co in action. It's always interesting going over to Fountain Studios, home of telly juggernauts X Factor, BGT, Red or Black and, way back in the day, even Friends. It always amazes me how underwhelming and understated these TV studios are.
Dwarfed by the impressive Wembley Stadium and situated in the middle of a one-way system, flanked by a Maccy D's and Total garage, the 'VIP' entrance is no more salubrious than Simon's choice in grey T-shirts. And the canteen/bar is reminiscent of my village church hall, with portable toilets to match.
However, this is precisely what I like about it. One of Britain's biggest TV shows, judged by the UK's biggest media mogul and TV personality, hosted by the UK's biggest presenting duo, and it all takes place not in a glitzy, glamorous LA-type studio, but a bog-standard grey building just off the A406. I love the irony.
Arriving and waiting patiently in line for my wristband, celebs, journalists, production guests and the contestants' families are all lumped in together, which makes for a great atmosphere and some hilarious banter.
I have to give a particular mention to the delightful dad of contortionist Lucky. A shy, nervous-looking man stood fiddling with his phone and rubber-necking to see if he recognised anyone, Eddie was a proud father personified.
Okay, as it transpired, Lucky and her amazingly flexible body didn't get through to the final, but hey, with her CV dictated to me verbatim by her pops and her career in the circus going from strength to strength, she has great things ahead of her regardless of Simon's half a mil, and I wish her and her lovely dad all the best. And well, with an act like that, BGT's loss is definitely her boyfriend's gain!
Now, exterior aside, the phrase 'you can't polish a turd, but you can cover it in glitter' has never been more apt for the Britain's Got Talent set. An amazing set, terrific sound, a plethora of cameras and a hive of excitement and activity - the magic of telly really does come alive once you set foot into the studio.
Courtesy of Ian 'Roycey' Royce, warm-up man extraordinaire, the energy and humour in getting through the 'house keeping' is infectious - and woe betide anyone that doesn't get up to dance along to LMFAO's 'Sexy and I Know It'! He will name and shame, as my teeny-tiny, sexy mama mate Caroline Flack found out to her detriment. Any hope of an incognito visit was quickly dashed when Flack opted for a toilet break at a crucial 'audience participation' moment.
At 7.30pm on the dot, the sound cranked up, an old dear so excited she actually fell UP the steps in her haste to reach her seat, it was over to everyone's favourites Ant & Dec to take us through another packed semi-final.
David Walliam's sidekick 'My Simon (Cowell)' was on particularly good form. Cuban heels and a bedazzling smile at the ready for everyone, he took every opportunity possible to have a natter to the audience, proffer his trademark wink to the lucky few, and even name and shame the man responsible for his latest tabloid column inches, biographer Tom Bower, who tried (and failed) to sit anonymously in the audience.
Simon grabbing the warm-up guy's microphone and making his nemesis/obvious new best friend stand up in his seat and ordering the thousand or so strong audience to 'boo' him was akin to a Monty Python sketch - pure panto!
I was fortunate to see what was one of the best-rated semi-finals. A real mixture of 'variety'. There were no duff acts, and as the show romped through at break-neck speed, it was unadulterated pleasure to be a part of from start to finish. Particular mention to 11-year-old Molly Rainford (a mini Leona Lewis)... after the loud, high-octane performances from preceding acts, her simple piano-accompanied solo was just spellbinding. For the full minute and a half, you couldn't hear a pin drop in that audience, and it was the first time all four judges sat still, clearly as mesmerised as the rest of us. Even David reigned in his Simon love for a fraction of a second.
After the constant (and boring) media circus of The Voice UK vs Britain's Got Talent, if my experience of it this week and ratings are anything to go by, ITV bigwigs have nothing to worry about.