Child singers. Child dance acts. Even a teenage stand-up comic looked barely old enough to be shaving.
However, among the plethora of kiddywinks and bright young things there was one shining potential star Malaki Paul. A singer with soul and a cheeky smile that will warm your cockles. But aged only nine, is he ready to be thrust into the limelight and pressure of a live TV talent show?
"He's a lovely young lad, with a talent, but is too young and too fragile for this. He should never have auditioned," said one DS forum member.
A rather more angry viewer commented: "All this in the name of entertainment. Shame on ITV and BGT."
Youngsters barely old enough to tie their own shoelaces have been an integral part of BGT since it started. But there had always been a heated debate about whether it's appropriate to have pre-teen acts performing for 10 million + viewers, while four judges glare them down, ready to press the thunderous buzzer and shatter their dreams at any moment.
Pushy parents linger on the sidelines, keeping their fingers crossed that their son or daughter can achieve their (very recently devised) lifelong dream. Some would say that it's wrong to allow your child to face the limelight at such a tender age. Others would argue that it would be unfair to deprive your child of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity if you truly believe in their talent.
Malaki's tearful breakdown midway through his audition brought back horrible memories of Hollie Steel's infamous live show performance on BGT. The sight of Ant & Dec unable to control a howling Steel, while her mother begged Cowell and producers for a second chance, was ugly and a strong argument for never having child acts on the show again.
Watch Hollie Steel's famous Britain's Got Talent performance below:
But dozens of other child acts have made the live shows on BGT and done themselves proud. So would it be unfair for Cowell and ITV to block under-12s in the future because of a couple of nervy, unfortunate incidents? Is it not the parents' call rather than the TV producers'?
It takes a strong and very mature kid to stand on the BGT stage for Simon Cowell and a rowdy audience. It's not only about having a special talent, it's also about being able to deal with lights and nerves, and having the confidence to cope with the unexpected twists of taking part in a filmed TV show.
Finding out whether a kid has those special skills isn't something a parent or producer can truly know until they've been out on that stage and performed. There is always a risk of tears, tantrums and heartbreak.
What did you think about Malaki Paul's audition? Is he too young to take part? Share your verdict below