The battle to become the 10th winner of Britain’s Got Talent began in earnest with the first live semi-final, presented by Ant and Dec.

100 Voices of Gospel – Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer act – were the last act to perform, but it quickly became clear that they would be the first to go through to the finals.





The 100 Voices of Gospel celebrate being voted through to the BGT final

 

The choir won the most public votes and massive praise from all of the judges.

“That was in such a different league to anything else we heard tonight,” Simon Cowell told them, after their performance of “I’ve Got My Heart Set On You”.

“That was more than a vocal performance; it was a show. This is the kind of act that could and should win.”

“The energy you created was incredible,” Alesha said. “I just love you. I want to join your group. Whenever you’re singing you make people want to be a part of it.”

“Praise the lord for sharing,” added David Walliams. “So completely joyous. We were all jumping out of our seats, even the grumpy one on the end.”

The judges then had to choose between Welsh singer Kathleen Jenkins and mum and son singing duo Mel and Jamie for the second finalist… And they couldn’t do it.





The judges couldn’t choose between Mel and Jamie and Kathleen Jenkins, so it went to the public vote

 

The judges’ vote was split, so it went back to the public vote – and it was Mel and Jamie who came out on top.

“On paper you’re not the kind of thing I’d like,” Simon told Mel and Jamie. “But what you do works. I’m really happy for you.”

“You can’t get away from genetics,” added Amanda Holden. “You sing in perfect harmony and you did even better than your audition. You are just beautiful together.”





Mel and Jamie are shocked to hear that they will be in the BGT final

 

“That was stunning,” Alesha agreed.

Kathleen Jenkins had also earned high praise from the judges, so their inability to be able to choose between Kathleen and Mel and Jamie was, perhaps, predictable.

“I have a feeling Britain is going to get behind you tonight,” Simon told Kathleen after she sang the Moulin Rouge hit “One Day I’ll Fly Away”.





Kathleen Jenkins split the judges and lost out to the public vote

 

And the voters did…just not quite enough of them.

You can see the whole story of the first semi-final in our picture special here.

Britain’s Got Talent live semi-finals continues on ITV, Monday, May 23, 7.30pm with the following acts competing for a place in the final:

Alex Magala

Another Kind of Blue

The Garnett Family

Ian and Anne Marshall (David’s Golden Buzzer act)

Mythical PSM

Rachael Wooding

Shannon and Peter

Vitaly Voronko

Wayne Woodward

There’s more on those acts here.

And, remember, two wild cards will be chosen at the end of the week, one voted for by viewers, one by the judges. So we may not have seen the last of Kathleen Jenkins…