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Reality TV Feature

Britain's Got Talent... Or does it just have singers?

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In just over 24 hours' time, the 11 finalists on Britain's Got Talent will take to the stage one last time in an attempt to prove their worth (and win some money and a spot in the Royal Variety Show, of course). While it's hard to believe, the victorious act will be the eighth to take the crown.

Britain's Got Talent third live semi-final: Lucy Kay

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


Over the years, there has been a bit of a range of acts - we've had everything from dancers (George Sampson and Diversity) to singers (Paul Potts, Jai McDowall) to a gymnastic dance troupe (Spelbound) to a dog (Ashleigh & Pudsey) to well, whatever you would count Attraction as.

So, a variety, then. But this year, the complaints about too many singers - which have always bubbled in the background - have really started to gain ground. Are there just too many this year?

Britain's Got Talent first live semi-final: Collabro

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


There are admittedly lots of crooners in tomorrow's big event: of 11 final acts, five are going to be showing off their vocal talents. When you think about the fact that everyone's kind of tired of dancers too - and three of the final acts are hoping to quick-step their way to victory - that's eight out of 11 that we've sort of seen before. Is it the case that the only variety we're really going to get will come from magician Darcy Oake, violinist Lettice Rowbotham and impressionist Jon Clegg?

It's true that Britain's Got Talent was always pitched as bringing us all sorts of contestants from all sorts of fields, and that isn't going to be represented in the final. But is that actually the show's fault?

Britain's Got Talent live semi-final 4: Bars and Melody

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


For one thing, we can look at the finalists and roll our eyes - but it's the public vote that put them there. And one of the more unusual acts, impressionist Jon Clegg, only won his place when the judges made their wildcard decision - he came third during his semi-final. Is it that we're simply more comfortable voting for and judging acts that we understand?

Brought up on a diet of The X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, we know how to evaluate singing and bopping. But it's harder for us to judge things we're not used to seeing on TV, and when it comes to something like comedy, everyone has a different sense of humour - making the act have to work even harder to win over viewers.

Britain's Got Talent Live Semi Final 5: Jack Pack

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


The fact is, where else would these acts go? We've often moaned that the musically-inclined contestants should head elsewhere - say, to The X Factor - but would that actually work in practice? Rhydian aside, when was the last time you saw an opera singer on the big X? And while the age limit has been dropped to 14 for the new series, younger acts have previously been forced onto BGT simply for practical reasons.

And while there are lots of singers on Britain's Got Talent, as Richard and Adam pointed out to us the other day, there is variety within them.

Britain's Got Talent second live semi-final: James Smith

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


"People do say there's a lot of singers this year, but I think what you've got to remember is that there are singers, but no singers are the same," Richard said. "We have different styles of dancing, there's different styles of magicians, there's different styles of comedians and they've got different styles of singers - musical theatre singers, opera singers, acoustic singers, pop singers. It's never something repeated over and over again."

He's right, you know - of the warblers, we have a rapping and rhyming teenage duo (Bars and Melody), a classical boyband (Collabro), swing singers (Jack Pack), an acoustic hearthrob for teen girls (James Smith) and an opera star (Lucy Kay).

Britain's Got Talent second live semi-final: Addict Initiative

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames

Britain's Got Talent Live Semi Final 5: Paddy and Nico

© Rex Features / Tom Dymond/Thames


It's the same with the dancers: troupe The Addict Initiative are so different from salsa granny Paddy and her partner Nico, and they are so different from Parisian high-heel hoofers Yanis Marshall, Arnaud & Mehdi. Are we getting too hung up on the generic type of act and not paying attention to the differences between them?

It's a difficult question. There's no doubt that half the reason we watch Britain's Got Talent is for the range of skill on show - we're still gutted the owl from episode one didn't make it through - but at the same time, there's no denying that the BGT singers and dancers are all different from each other. So we'll throw it over to you. Are you frustrated by the amount of crooners and groovers? Or do you think the balance is just right? Let us know below!

Who do you think will win Britain's Got Talent series eight?
Darcy Oake16.62%
Collabro17.72%
The Addict Initiative2.18%
James Smith3.12%
Lucy Kay4.41%
Yanis Marshall, Arnaud & Mehdi3.68%
Lettice Rowbotham5.91%
Bars and Melody21.64%
Paddy and Nico8.36%
Jack Pack10.46%
Wildcard act5.88%

Are you annoyed by the amount of singers and dancers on Britain's Got Talent, or are they your favourite acts? Let us know below!

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