Entertainment

Ghetto Kids kick off Britain’s Got Talent final dominated by child stars

Five of the 11 finalists are 14 or under.
Five of the 11 finalists are 14 or under. Five of the 11 finalists are 14 or under.

Bruno Tonioli’s golden buzzer act Ghetto Kids has kicked off the Britain’s Got Talent grand final with a “joyous” celebration of Africa.

The Uganda-born group, whose ages range from five to 13, opened the show with a routine to a medley of songs including Africa by Toto and shared a flag of their country during the performance which ended with a shower of golden glitter.

The children, who were given a new start in life by the Inspire Ghetto Kids Foundation, said before their performance: “If we won, we would be able to build a home for kids like us.”

Sunday’s show marks judge Tonioli’s first grand final after joining the ITV talent show’s panel alongside Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon this year.

Tonioli said of his golden buzzer act: “Seeing you makes me feel happy to be alive… you really are the pride of Africa,” meanwhile Dixon said: “I can’t put it into words how much joy you have brought us this year – You’ve done Uganda proud.”

Cowell asked the “joyous” group to come back every single year, adding: “This isn’t easy, you’ve got a few days to prepare something, in terms of personality, talent, everything worked…for me by a mile this was your best performance.”

The winner will scoop a £250,000 prize, as well as a spot on the bill at the Royal Variety Performance.

Across the past week, acts have battled it out in five live semi-finals – with five acts put through after receiving the most audience votes and the other five voted through by the judges.

Schoolgirl Olivia Lynes, who is Holden’s golden buzzer choice, was the next child star to wow the judges – singing Let It Go from Disney classic Frozen.

The 11-year-old, who dreams of performing on the West End when she is older, was thrilled to receive a video message from actress Samantha Barks, who plays Elsa in the musical, ahead of her performance.

Holden said: “You definitely let it go Olivia, the whole thing was pitch perfect, you are a little star – I just cannot believe the power house that you are.”

Sunbed receptionist Amy Lou Smith then gave an emotional rendition of Christina Aguilera’s ballad Reflection in the hope of winning the show for her children, she said after the performance.

The 34-year-old from Tipton, West Midlands, had the judges on their feet and particularly impressed Holden and Dixon having given birth a few weeks ago.

Holden said: “You are a shining example for all the women, we haven’t had a female winner for a long time.”

The final also saw comedian Tonikaku, who left the audience and judges in fits of laughter with his uncanny series of superhero “naked” poses.

The 40-year-old wild card act posed as Spider-Man, Batman, Superman, and even as judge Cowell pressing the red buzzer – and his “hero” Freddie Mercury during Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now.

Cowell said: “You’re one of the funniest people we have ever, ever had on this show”, while Dixon said: “You made me break my ring I laughed so hard. I was banging the desk in laughter.”

South Wales’ Travis George had the audience and judges on their feet after a powerful rendition of This Is Me from The Greatest Showman.

After his performance, the 22-year-old said: “As a person who struggles with anxiety and came from nothing, to be in the finals of Britain’s Got Talent, thank you to everyone who made this the beautiful experience that it is.”

Meanwhile married couple Sophia Carmen and Maksym Korbun, from Duo Odyssey, performed a contemporary aerial dance routine to Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, telling Cowell: “Every time we do this we risk our lives,” after he asked what was special about their routine.

Another teenage star, 14-year-old Cillian O’Connor – from County Meath in Ireland, wowed the judges with an impressive magic routine which saw co-host Anthony McPartlin disappear.

After the performance, Declan Donnelly said: “I need to know how to do that.”

Cowell said “I just think you’ve obviously got magical powers and I believe in that”, while Tonioli described him as “the embodiment of magic”.

It was Lilliana Clifton who commanded the stage during the final with her emotional and dramatic dance routine to Eurovision winner Loreen’s Tattoo.

The 13-year-old schoolgirl was described as a “dancing queen” by Tonioli, while Cowell said: “I’m going to be honest with you, I always knew you were good, I didn’t know you were this good. There could be some real surprises on the show tonight and this for me is one of them.”

Norwegian comedian Viggo Venn had the audience kept the Britain’s Got Talent audience entertained with another high-vis inspired routine in the grand final.

The 33-year-old had the judges laughing when he forced judge Simon Cowell to wear a matching high-vis jacket as rose petals were thrown over the pair before the whole audience erupted into high-vis.

The audience were in raptures after the performance, chanting: “One more time,” in reference to his first audition on the show.

Dixon said: “You’ve captivated the nation, they love you,” while Tonioli said: “I think your physical comedy is world-class, you have created one of the most memorable characters since Mr Bean.”

When host Donnelly asked why so many high-vis jackets, Venn said: “I wear so many high-vis because it’s really cold in Norway.”