Don't even think about betting on tonight's semi-final before reading expert Tim Booth's thoughts.
The winner of this semi-final may as well be called right now. Beau Dermott is Amanda Holden’s ‘golden buzzer’ act, and very much seems to be the producers’ golden girl too, having been granted the prestigious week 1 pimp slot in the auditions. She is the ultimate little-girl-with-big-voice contestant, who amazed with her rendition of ‘Defying Gravity’. The producers will be favouring her tonight, and she probably wouldn’t have to be on late in order to win this semi-final. Expect the judges to say she’d be perfect to put in front of the Royal Family. It’s worth skipping the skinny odds available on Beau to win this semi. Instead, backing Beau outright looks the way to go. Regardless of whether or not she ends up beating Richard Jones in the final, her outright odds could well be a lot shorter this time tomorrow.
Among the no-hopers tonight in the dance acts are Bollywest Fusion, who were montaged at their audition, and Bespoke Candi, who have little to offer apart from a novelty dinosaur costume. Similarly, it’s very difficult to imagine Central Asian group Tumar KR capturing the imagination of the public.
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Balance/Balance Unity is most certainly the dance act of interest tonight. He’s a good looking young guy who impressed with a comedy dance routine in week 3 of the auditions. This is the type of act which could go either way in a live semi-final, as solo dancers like this have been hindered in the past with some overly ‘urban’ staging. I can see him picking up plenty of free app votes tonight, but I couldn’t recommend an odds-on price for him to qualify.
Comedy magician Christian Lee is a bit of a wildcard tonight, as his act will stand out among all the singers and dancers. But his audition wasn’t particularly strong, and as a magician is obviously inferior to Richard Jones. He is one to watch though, in case his act impresses.
Classical male harmony group Vox Fortuna are a type of act which has made the final in the past. However, it’s quite possible the public are tiring of this sort of music, as they will have seen and heard it all before. The group have also been hit by scandal, as one of the members recently decided to leave due to “personal reasons”. Competing in the same semi as Beau means their chances of getting through at this stage are probably slim.
Danny Beard is a talented drag queen who has clearly been cast for the live shows due to his outrageous styling. However, although he is very good at what he does, it’s difficult to imagine Middle England voting for him en masse. I can see him opening the show tonight.
One act that Middle England could well get behind, however, is The Collaborative Orchestra. This is a very feel-good act that would be a great show closer - that is, if the producers aren’t intending to end the show with Beau tonight. They would offer variety for the final and it’s the sort of thing you can imagine the judges saying is suitable for The Queen. Being featured in the first audition show is often a sign of producer favour, and so this is the act which I think offers the best value to qualify tonight.