Alesha Dixon on BGT's live shows: 'We're just like viewers, we judges want to be blown away'
As the Britain's Got Talent semi-finals kick off on ITV this Sunday (May 22), judge Alesha Dixon says the Golden Buzzer acts are the ones to watch…
It's the 10th series of Britain's Got Talent (opens in new tab) this year. Can we expect the live semi-finals to be bigger than ever?
"It does feel like a real milestone for the show and, because of that, all us judges have felt the pressure a bit more because we want to make sure the show lives up to that and we want to do the public proud."
From Sunday to Thursday this week, 45 acts will perform for the public vote. Among these will be the five Golden Buzzer acts chosen by the judges and hosts Ant and Dec. How would you rate them this year?
"I'd say the Golden Buzzer acts have been stronger than previous years, so we could potentially see a Golden Buzzer act win it. My Golden Buzzer act really lifted my spirits, but I'm quite jealous of Ant and Dec's act, too. It's going to be a really exciting competition between all our Golden Buzzers!"
What will it take for someone to impress you at the live shows?
"The acts that stand out in the live shows will be the ones that seize their moment, up their game, deliver something unexpected and really capture our imagination. They only get that one chance to change their life!"
What kind of act would you like to see win the show this year?
"Honestly, I'm very open-minded when it comes to who wins the show because I love all different types of acts. I don't show any preferential treatment towards dance acts or singers just because that's what I love – I'd be just as happy if a stand-up comedian were to win, or a magician, or something we've never seen before."
What would you say the dynamic has been like between the judges this year?
"This is the fifth series with myself, Amanda, David and Simon – from day one we hit it off and there was natural chemistry between us and I think, over the years, our relationship has got stronger and we bounce off each other really well. I think it's a settled panel in that respect and I think the public quite like that actually."
Alesha with fellow judges David Walliams, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell, plus BGT hosts Ant & Dec
Would you say you're like family?
"I think we've become a very strong, dysfunctional family! We can push each other's buttons and get away with it because no one takes anything personally. BGT is a fun show – the minute we’re not having fun I don’t think it will work."
Generally, how do you think the talent this year has compared to the previous nine series of Britain's Got Talent? Is the talent pool getting smaller?
"I don't think so, it's just that, to find something special is rare - you have to see so many people in order to find those gems and get to that one special act. We get to see a wide variety of talent from across the country – we never know what we’re going to see and that's why I don’t think the show will ever get boring. Like the viewers at home, we judges sit there wanting to be blown away, wanting to be surprised."
Over the past 10 series, what acts would you say epitomise Britain’s Got Talent?
"Most of the winners - Ashleigh & Pudsey, Diversity and Paul Potts and, of course, Susan Boyle. All of these acts inspired the nation and people fell in love with them, all for different reasons. The fact that we can look back over the past 10 years of Britain's Got Talent and see so many different acts, from different walks of life inspiring different generations, that to me is the heart and soul of the show.”
Going for Gold: This year’s Golden Buzzer acts...
Boogie Storm (Simon’s choice)
Star Wars met BGT as this Stormtrooper dance act gave us an unexpected routine full of backflips and booty-shaking. BGT’s very own Dark Lord said they’d made his ‘dreams come true’ and repaid the favour by going for Gold.
Beau Dermott (Amanda’s choice)
As a West End star herself, Amanda adored 12-year-old singer, Beau, who belted out a note-perfect version of Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked. And she was flying high when Amanda buzzed her through to the live shows.
100 Voices of Gospel (Alesha’s choice)
Alesha wanted to see a choir like the one in the film, Sister Act. And she got her wish as this gospel choir performed a rousing – and energetic – version of This Little Light of Mine. With the crowd on their feet, Alesha struck Gold.
Anne & Ian Marshall (David’s choice)
Married for 44 years, Anne and Ian proved they were Crazy in Love as they performed a quirky song and dance routine to the Beyoncé hit. David loves the eccentric acts, so it’s unsurprising they’re his choice for the live shows.
Jasmine Elcock (Ant & Dec’s choice)
You could hear a pin drop as 14-year-old Jasmine performed an emotional version of Cher’s hit Believe. A very teary Ant and co-host Dec certainly believed in Jasmine as they ran out from backstage to hit the Golden Buzzer.
The semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent start on Sunday, May 22 at 7.30pm on ITV
Get the What to Watch Newsletter
The latest updates, reviews and unmissable series to watch and more!
With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!