Scottish singing sensation Susan Boyle has won a place in the final of Britain’s Got Talent after performing live in front of the nation for the first time.
The 48-year-old spinster from Blackburn, west Lothian won legions of fans, including Demi Moore and Jon Bon Jovi when she stunned judges with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream.
Boyle’s wide fanbase helped her win the public vote tonight after another towering performance of a show classic, this time Memory from musical Cats.
The response to her first performance had raised expectations but when show hosts Ant and Dec asked her how she had coped with the pressure she said: “What pressure, I really enjoyed myself, I enjoyed every second. I’d do it again!”
When the result of the public vote was announced she treated the audience to a little victory dance.
It was the first of five live shows over the next week during which 40 acts will be put to the public and judge’s vote with just two from each show going through to the grand final next Saturday.
They are all competing for the chance to perform at the Royal Variety Show and a £100,000 cheque.
Dance group Diversity and cherubic 10-year-old Natalie Okri received the next biggest share of the public vote and had to face the judges’ decision.
Amanda Holden threw her weight behind Natalie but Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan voted for the dancers to get a place in the final prompting tears from the young singer.
Before the vote Diversity, a 10-strong group from Essex whose members are aged between 25 and 13, were showered with praise from the judges for their routine.
It took in a pastiche of the Tom Cruise film Mission Impossible, a surfing scene and a blast of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal.
Holden said: “You were intelligent, innovative, so funny. It told a story all the way through. Utterly utterly fantastic.”
Simon Cowell said: “You were sensational.”
But Natalie charmed the audience and won the public’s heart with her performance and told the judges, “I’m so excited!”.
The other acts who did not make it through to the final tonight included violinist Sue Son who ditched her original musical partner Janine Khalil at the request of the judges.
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