A quirky gospel choir, an 11-year-old powerhouse singer, a disabled teenage comedian and a former hopeful from The Voice have established themselves as early front-runners in Britain’s Got Talent 2013 as the first round of auditions got underway.
And highlights included the gospel singers Incognito – who won over the panel with the element of surprise in their act.
While choir leader Patrick George initially took to the stage alone – leading to raised eyebrows from the judges – he quickly won them over as his singers appeared from various different parts of the theatre before uniting together.
Simon Cowell called the act “one of the best choirs we’ve had on this show, if not the best” – while David Walliams added: “It made me want to go to church.”
Also impressing the judges was 14-year-old Jack Carroll, whose routine won a standing ovation from both judges and audience.
The teenager, who has cerebral palsy and walks with a frame, greeted the judges by telling them: “I’m a professional gymnast,” before poking fun at his condition in a string of self-depracating one-liners.
“You are a comedy genius,” David Walliams said afterwards, “I’m not even as funny now as you are at 14 years old. Every joke was a winner.”
“The thing that’s great is nobody feels sorry for you,” added Amanda, saying: “I think you’ve got a huge future.”
Meanwhile one of the younger contestants, Ariksandra Libantino, left the panel speechless with her powerful rendition of Jennifer Hudson’s One Night Only.
The pint-sized singer, who previously failed to make it past the audition stage in 2011, also won herself a standing ovation, with the judges unable to praise her performance enough.
Simon called her “superhuman” while Alesha said, “You have a gift, thank you for sharing it with us today. You’re amazing.”
Another singer, Alice Fredenham – who previously auditioned for The Voice – had better luck this time after her rendition of My Funny Valentine left the panel spellbound.
The 28-year-old sobbed as Simon told her: “This is what I have been waiting for…Your voice is like liquid gold.” David, meanwhile, called the performance “world class”.
But it wasn’t quite such good news for 21-year-old would-be comedian Paul Stark, who failed to raise many laughs at the Manchester auditions. As the audience chanted for him to leave the stage, Simon’s reaction was more blunt.
“Let me make this easy for you, those jokes were some of the worst I’ve ever heard,” Simon told him – much to his annoyance.