The Britain’s Got Talent auditions have hit Scotland for the first time, with week five of the series featuring the best and worst from Glasgow.

However things did not get off to a promising start in the Scottish city, with judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and Piers Morgan giving the thumbs down to a string of acts – including a family of four singing in close harmony, and a Billy Connolly tribute performer.

Elsewhere, contortionist Chris Cross left Amanda feeling sick, while a troupe of Scottish country dancers proved so unpopular that even their hometown audience booed them off stage.

There was better news for Animalgique, a magic duo performing illusions involving owls, snakes and other creatures.

After initially rejecting them, Amanda changed her mind and agreed to put them through to the semi-final if they showed off some more elaborate tricks – and with Simon’s vote, the pair made it through to the next round.

Back in London, Piers and Amanda were impressed by the leotard-clad hula hooping trio Hoop La La – but Simon Cowell wasn’t so sure about their high camp performance.”Do you honestly think Prince Charles wants to see that on the Royal Variety Show?” he asked them.

Simon was more impressed by knife-juggler Phil Blackmore, who also balanced a medieval battleaxe on his chin during his act.”How would you feel if you got through to the semis and died?” he asked before voting him into the next round.

Piers, however, disagreed. “I think he’d love your act,” he said. “They see so many boring things every year and then we’ve got you!”

In Birmingham, musical saw player Austin Blackburn divided the judges, with Piers and Amanda raving about his rendition of You Raise Me Up, but Simon giving him the thumbs-down. “It sounds like a cat being stamped on,” he said.

Strongman Stuart Goldsmith was given a unanimous buzzing from the judges despite impressing the crowd with a stunt in which he lifted both Ant and Dec simultaneously.

“It’s great that you can lift well known family personalities,” Amanda told him, “but it’s not very pretty”. Piers added that “lifting two of the smallest people in Britain was not that impressive”.

Meanwhile wannabe dancer David Williams turned the air blue after being called “absolutely useless” by Simon – but things picked up with the final act, 12-year-old singer Faryl Smith.

The schoolgirl had both crowd and judges spellbound with her rendition of Ave Maria, and received a standing ovation at the end. “For a 12-year-old girl to sing in that way is one of the most extraordinary things I’ve ever seen,” Piers told her.

Simon Cowell, meanwhile, called it “the best audition I have seen this year. I think you may be special,” he added.