The first of these was Steven Hall. Quite how he found his way to the fsemi-inal selection I will never know. How he got through that - well thats another baffling question. He just resembles an older family member who has had too much to drink at a party. I honestly believe he makes a mockery of the term "dance", especially when there are real dancers out there who deserve fame much more than he does. If there was ever a glimmer of hope that he would raise his game, this was soon quashed. Sure his movements and lip sync were in time, but the energy levels simply were not there. Remove all the dancers he had on stage with him, the routine to me seemed simpler than his original audition, which is never good. Quite what the judges saw in him I don't know... is Simon turning soft?
Second up - Michael Collings. I really rated him in the auditions. I can't help but think his vocal range is limited, but his song choices work with that - it plays to his strengths. Playing the same song as his audition was wise - and could easily sway the evenings votes. This guy is going somewhere, regardless to whether he wins. I would expect Simon to snap him up win or lose, and I can almost guarantee he will have a cd in the charts in the coming months. Could he win? I don't think so, but he will be a star that is for certain.
Les Gibson following in the footsteps of last years finalist and fellow impressionist Paul Birling was someone who I was unsure about. Sure he is good but was he better than Paul Birling? if I am honest I didn't think so. I think its right that he was given another chance - but would he make an impact this evening? Frankly - no. I thought his Simon Cowell impersonation was sketchy at best, though his take on Michael McIntyre, The Hoff and Louis Walsh were pretty reasonable. Amanda echoed this. Personally I would find it farcical if he ended up in the last three. He is good, but he is not the most talented person in Britain thats for sure.
Now onto one of my favorites - James Hobley. I am so glad that he has got this far, and I sit here hoping that the judges, audience and general public get behind his performance, which was solid throughout with a beautiful ending. In terms of talent, this boy deserves to be number one. He has definitely sent the previous three acts packing in my books. As I said in my last article, what he brings to the stage is a passion that cannot be taught, a passion that shines through in his performances. I really don't know what market exists for a ballet dancer after BGT, maybe a role in Billy Elliot? I really don't know. But this kid deserves to go all the way!
Up next a pianist by the name of Paul Gbegbaje. I think this is an act that could get a bit old, as there is only so much you can do with a piano and stay entertaining. The choice of an original piece is risky at best, and my first impressions listening is that it was nothing special, though as the song came to life, his ability really shone through. Is this a winning performance? Again I have to say, I am really not sure. Of the people I have seen so far, he is in the top 3 but only just with James and Michael Collings ahead of him. However being just half way through the night can he hold on to that place? I really don't think so.
With Ronan Parke up next, Paul Gbegbaje's top 3 slot I felt would be very much short lived indeed. Ronan has such an amazing voice. His audition was phenomenal, which had all three judges on their feet. I just hoped that he would perform well under the stress that the tabloids have caused him in the last couple of days. Ronan lived up to his tag as the bookies favorite with a great choice of song which brought out the best in his voice. It is hard to believe such power could come from a twelve year old. As much as I would like James to win, I can't help but think Ronan has just snatched it - that was simply mind blowing - and those tears after such a great performance show just how much heart he puts in to every song he sings. Watch out Bieber... there is a new kid on the block!!!
Jean Martyn is another of the contestants I have been unsure of. I won't lie, as enthusiastic as she may be, I found her piece messy with the melodies not fitting with the bass notes, and her singing very much mediocre. If I am honest my most hated act of the final - Steven Hall may have been marginally better! Sure - a ton of energy - but it would be better suited to an asylum than a talent contest.
Jai McDowell is up next. Having seen Ronan perform so well, Jai has to really pull out all stops to be the better solo singing act. If I am truthful, I am not sure he has it in him, he always seems so nervous. But who knows he may just pull it off! My first impressions of the song are not that great, but Simon loved it... lets face it if Simon loves a singer their career in music is already made for them. He is good, and just like Michael Collings I feel there is a future for him in music, though I would be shocked if he won this competition.
I am a lover of dance and Razy Gogonea brings a real contrast to James Hobley's ballet routine. Having seen lots of street dancing and body popping in the last few years - he really needs to do a lot to impress. Don't forget the last three years have been won by choreographed routines. For me it is all a bit samey and seems to lack the heart and passion I have seen in other dancers. Razy was entertaining the first time I saw him, but truthfully the novelty has worn off now, and even the use of fire did little to sway my view on this - it was just a means of tarting up a routine I have seen too many times before.
Onto the final act of the night - New Bounce - the only boy band in the final. I am no lover of boy bands usually, as the vocal mixes are generally cringeworthy and the performances are often a bit cheesy. Would New Bounce be any different? They were better than most I will credit them with that. The group harmonies worked, but I wasn't so sure on the solo pieces. It was a worthy performance, but for me not good enough to break into the top three. Just like the other singers tonight, they have a future regardless of the outcome of this show.
So thats my take on the final, and below is how I would rank them based on the evenings performance for what they are worth. I am not a judge I know, but hey its good to have an opinion right?
MY FINAL RANKINGS