This year sees the inclusion of two wildcards to the final. Trip Hazard and Lucy probably didn’t miss out on winning last night’s semi-final by a big margin, and were chosen as the public wildcard choice. Dog acts have a very strong record in the final, but the fact they didn’t win their heat is a red flag. A Top 3 placing might be possible for them tonight, but it would require both a strong performance and second half slot in the running order. Dance act Shannon and Peter were chosen as the judges’ wildcard, but won’t be a threat to the Top 3.
At this stage, it’s difficult to envisage any of the semi-final runners up to be challenging for the upper echelons of the public vote. Mel and Jamie are vocally relatively poor, and it will probably be apparent that they didn’t really deserve their place in the final tonight. Boogie Storm will have their fans but are far too novelty to be put in front of The Queen, and they have next to no credibility.
Alex Magala’s danger act was very impressive in the semi-final, but anyone would be mad to think he is suitable for the Royal Family. A lot more fuss could’ve been made of solo dancer Balance Unity by the judges, who decided not to sing his praises in his heat. As someone the panel voted through 4-0, you have to wonder if he was perhaps third in the vote.
The runner up with the most chance of causing a Top 3 upset tonight has to be Jasmine Elock. She may or may not have been second in her semi-final, but it was a very competitive heat and the online reaction to her was huge. Jasmine’s price to make the Top 3 is far too short, however, as she will now be competing directly for votes with vocal powerhouse Beau Dermott. Any attempt to push Jasmine tonight may be part of a strategy to prevent Beau from winning.
Tonight’s champion will almost certainly be one of the five semi-final winners. Wayne Woodward pulled off a surprise victory in his heat after performing the dreaded "That’s Life" from the terrible slot of second in the running order. This just goes to show how much of a natural fit he is for the voting audience. However, Wayne is singing "Fly Me To The Moon" which would hardly make him an inspiring winner for the show’s tenth anniversary.
Singing impressionist Craig Ball is also perhaps one of the weaker acts to have won a semi-final this week. His act was almost identical to his first audition, so he may suffer from the law of diminishing returns unless he can conjure up plenty of new voices in time for tonight.
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The act to win the first semi-final has an incredible record of placing in the Top 3 and even winning the show. That means the treatment of 100 Voices of Gospel will therefore be fascinating to watch tonight. They are a talented and uplifting act who would be suitable for the Royal Family and could potentially flog plenty of albums.
12-Year-Old Beau Dermott is the most impressive singer in the final tonight. The market puts her second favourite to win, which seems about right. A child singer has never won before, and I suspect she stormed the vote in her semi-final from the pimp slot. However, she now has Jasmine Ellcock to compete with, and they will undoubtedly be taking votes away from each other. There are also several other singing acts perhaps fishing in similar waters.
The only non-singing winner of a semi-final was magician Richard Jones. In last year’s final, the arguably inferior Jamie Raven only missed out on winning by around 2%. Richard has a much stronger profile, as the producers have been very keen to point out he is a soldier. The VTs on this show are often very generic, but Richard’s was noticeably strong, with him pointing out how proud he is to serve his country. This will have had patriotic viewers and fans of variety acts voting for him in huge numbers, and they will undoubtedly will be supporting him tonight. Richard is the act I think producers would most like to see take the prize and be put in front of the Royal Family. As long as he is performing in slot 10, 11 or 12, he should be winning fairly comfortably.
It’s worth remembering that running order can be everything in the BGT final. If you see an act you have backed performed in slot 9 or earlier, I would strongly consider switching to another horse. For the last couple of years, runners up have opened the final, with all of the semi winners on later.