Simon Cowell has reignited the row over children performing on Britain’s Got Talent by sending some of the competition’s youngest contestants through to the grand final.
The judge voted for pint-sized Welsh dancers Pre Skool to join band Luminites in the final round, ahead of fellow top-three act, dancer Joseph Hall.
Judges Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden – who said she was so confident Pre Skool would make the final she offered to kiss Simon if the children did not get through – both plumped for the 35-year-old dance teacher.
But Simon – who got caught up in a war of words with Sir Bruce Forsyth earlier in the week after the showbiz veteran said youngsters faced ’emotional damage’ from the pressure of performing – agreed with David Walliams to send Pre Skool into the last round.
Simon said: “I can make an argument for both (Pre Skool and Joseph) – I really, really am torn on this. I am voting for Pre Skool.”
It meant the public vote was called on to make the final decision – sending the jubilant youngsters through.
Both David and Simon appeared to acknowledge Sir Bruce’s comments about Britain’s Got Talent in the Daily Mail this week, in which he said: “I really do think he should stop putting young children under the immense and possibly damaging pressure of performing on national television, not just in front of a live audience, but also before four very sharp judges.”
Following the Port Talbot youngsters’ performance, the Little Britain actor quipped: “I know there has been a bit of criticism about school children on this show – but not about kids who are too young to go to school.”
Simon, meanwhile, added: “Just to be clear in case somebody’s watching – these are all 45-year-old midgets.”
Luminites stole the show, however, with their rendition of the Bee Gees’ To Love Somebody. Simon told them: “I can’t tell you how much I am going to thank God for bringing you tonight.”