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Reality TV Interview

'Britain's Got Talent' finalists Ronan Parke, Paul Gbegbaje

By
Britain's Got Talent: Simon Cowell

© ITV

Dancing dog double acts and dodgy Terminator impressions couldn't halt wee Ronan Parke and piano master Paul Gbegbaje as they marched to victory on last night's Britain's Got Talent semi-final. Parke's cover of 'Make You Feel My Love' and Gbegbaje's ivory tinkling medley earned the most viewer votes and, maybe more importantly, Simon Cowell's approval. Reality Bites caught up with Ronan and Paul this morning to probe them with questions.


Britain's Got Talent semi-final 1: Ronan Parke

Congratulations, Ronan. How are you feeling this morning?
"I'm feeling really, really good. Thank you!"

You were the last act on last night, Ronan. What did you do while you were waiting backstage to go on?
"I was just warming up my voice. I was thinking about my performance and how I was going to make it work and the best I could possibly do it."

Was it scary having Simon Cowell back on the judging panel?
"That added some nerves really. He's so good at music and everybody knows him, so everyone wanted to get good comments from him. Luckily, I did manage to get one. That was amazing. I was quite nervous about what he had to say."

Why did you choose the track 'Make You Feel My Love'?
"I really like that song, yeah. I love Adele and I love her songs. Working with her would be amazing."

Who was your favourite act last night?
"I didn't get the chance to see any of them last night because I was so busy backstage and we couldn't watch, but I saw the auditions. I thought the Bruce Sistaz would be amazing. I saw a tiny bit of them and I thought what they were doing with the sticks and stuff was really good. That looked really, really good."

Do you have any hidden talents other than singing?
"Yeah, I like dancing. I haven't been trained or anything. I just like dancing by myself."

Are you hoping Simon Cowell will offer you a record contract?
"That would be amazing. I'd love to make albums and tour around the world. Yeah, I wouldn't mind leaving school to do that."

What has the response been like from your friends?
"My friends have been really, really supportive. There have been lots of people stopping me in the street as well asking for my autograph and that's really exciting."

Who are your musical heroes?
"My favourites are Lady GaGa and Beyoncé. I'd love to collaborate with Beyoncé, but my favourite singer is probably GaGa."

Who is the best BGT judge?
"Amanda Holden is probably my favourite, but I love them all!"


Britain's Got Talent auditions: Paul

What were those final moments like last night when the judges were voting, Paul?
"That was intense. It was very tense. Nerves and emotions were running through my mind. Joe had got two of the votes, but then Amanda's vote changed everything. It was really nerve-wracking hearing such important news. It was really scary, I just had to hold myself together and be really composed."

Did you think you had lost when the first two judges backed Joe?
"Yeah. I knew Simon at the end may have the casting decision, so that was the one I really had to wait for. It all lay in his hands in the end. I had to believe, stay strong and believe that I had some chance of making the final."

Simon Cowell backed you and gave you great comments. What did that feel like?
"I was really impressed and honoured. To have someone from that level in the music industry appreciating what I have and what I do was a massive confidence boost for me. I was really honoured by it."

What did you think to the judges' criticism that you did too many songs in the medley?
"That was a really good suggestion and it's one I'll take on board. It's really crucial that I do that, take that advice, rather than putting it to one side. I will learn from it."

Who would be your dream collaborator?
"Ooh, probably playing while Beyoncé sings. That would be pretty cool."

Who was your favourite act last night?
"Joe Oakley and Ronan were my favourites. Joe is great, he's been doing that since he was 9. To see where he's got to, I was amazed watching him. I was so pleased with the judges' comments for him and I was really impressed by his whole routine. I think he'll go far."

Have you got plans for Saturday's final yet?
"Definitely. I'm always thinking. I'm always making scribbles and stuff. I'm always thinking of my next idea."

What have your friends thought of you being on the show?
"One of my friends sent me a text yesterday saying, 'you need to go out with confidence and give it the best you can'. Those comments really inspired me before I went on."

What did you do backstage before performing?
"I was just wiping down my palms and getting rid of the sweat! I get really sweaty palms when I'm nervous. I just tried to focus on the music and giving the best performance I could."

At the end of the series, what do you want to get out of the show?
"I just want the chance to do what I love. Rather than being in a job where I'm not happy, working in an office, filing or something. I'm using my talents and using my abilities - that's what I want to do from now on. To play and compose, use the best of my talent and inspire people - that's what I want. I like to work with other artists. I like to write songs, I like to arrange. I like to put instruments to other people's music. All round music, rather than just one dimension. But my main passion is the piano and I like to use it in different areas."

If people are thinking about having piano lessons, what advice would you give them?
"Do it! Do it! Nothing good comes easy. I put a lot of work into it. My teacher always used to say, 'it's easy to do little'. He emphasised the importance of practising and putting my own time and effort in. People can only do so much for you, the rest comes down to working hard and trying to do what you're not comfortable with."

> 'Britain's Got Talent' semi-final 1 in pictures

Britain's Got Talent continues tonight at 7.30pm on ITV1.

Do you think Ronan or Paul could win on Saturday? Share your views below

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