Some of the best – and oddest – acts so far this series have been featured on Britain’s Got Talent as auditions were held in Newcastle for the first time.
And among those who won themselves a place in the next round at the auditions were teenage boyband Connected – although despite winning over Amanda, Piers and the audience the five-piece had to work harder to impress Simon Cowell.
“What you just did is 15 years out of date,” Simon told them, “and I think you should come out and tell me what the next wave of bands are rather than doing what worked 15 or 16 years ago. What you’re wearing has definitely come from your mums.”
Amanda defended the band, while Piers likened them to a young Take That – but after giving them the chance to sing a second song, Simon also relented.
“I stand by what I say, I think it’s dated, I think you’ve been advised badly – but maybe you do need a little bit of help,” he added, before voting them through.
Also making it to the next round were girl dance troupe AKA, despite Simon describing them as “totally insane”, and husband-wife duo Flute Magic, which saw husband Clive perform tricks while wife Claire performed flute music.
Simon quickly buzzed the act off but Piers described the performance as “hypnotic. There’s something very unusual about your act,” he said, “and this show is designed to promote the unusual.”
At the Manchester auditions, all three judges were wowed by teenager Olivia Archbold, who overcame her nerves to deliver a faultless rendition of Sarah McLachlan’s Angel.
“That was utterly spellbinding, you’ve got such a lovely quality to your voice,” Amanda Holden told the 14-year-old.
“We’ve had a lot of young singers come out and taking on a song which is way way too big for them,” Simon added, “but you sang that so so well. I am so impressed with you I can’t tell you.”
However there was disappointment for forklift truck driver Jeff Darbyshire – whose stripping singing act left the panel speechless – and female singing duo Different Dreams
The latter were forced to make a difficult decision following their performance, after the judges said that one of the singers, Chantelle, had potential but the other, Ruth, did not.
A tearful Ruth left the stage and left Chantelle to perform solo – but the 18-year-old still failed to make it through.
“If I’m being honest I’m going to say this is just a dream,” Simon said. “I don’t think we’ve heard something extraordinary here.”