Britain’s Got Talent hopeful Paddy and her partner Nico stormed into the show’s final tonight after the 79-year-old salsa dancer battled back from injury to impress the judges and public.
Sarah ‘Paddy’ Jones and her Spanish partner Nicolas Espinosa had been forced to withdraw from the live semi-final after she injured her ribs during rehearsals. But she was able to take to the stage tonight after all, as the pair danced to Ricky Martin hit She Bangs.
Swing group Jack Pack won the public vote in the last semi-final but judges picking the second act of the night to go through chose Paddy and Nico by three votes to one over 15-year-old singer-songwriter Bailey McConnell.
Earlier Britain’s Got Talent supremo Simon Cowell told Paddy and Nico: “I salute your courage, everything about it, you did this for your country. I think the British people are going to vote you through to the final.”
Fellow judge David Walliams told them: “You do bang, you do move amazingly, and what I got from that was your incredible bravery, to come back from injury and do that.”
A spot on the Royal Variety Performance is one of the prizes for the winner of the ITV1 show, and judge Amanda Holden told Paddy and Nico: “I adore you both, I’m so proud of you. You are the epitome of Great Britain, and you are something that the Royal Family would just adore on the Royal Variety Show.”
Jack Pack, from London, had previously impressed the judges with their rendition of the classic Frank Sinatra song That’s Life, and were back with Ol’ Blue Eyes for My Way tonight, winning a standing ovation from judges and audience.
Simon told them: “I love this era of music. This only works if you have good voices and respect the era, and you win on both counts. I’ve always wanted to work with a group like this, four guys doing the Rat Pack thing.”
David said: “I didn’t think anybody could follow Paddy and Nico, but that was the performance of the evening.”
Amanda said: “I think you are going to storm it tonight, you are like a dream boy group. I love that music, you did it beautifully.”
Alesha Dixon said: “If I was at home, I would be picking up the phone and voting for you.”
Bailey McConnell, who performed one of his own compositions, was told by Holden: “You have got a gorgeous clean tone to your voice.”
And Simon added said: “I didn’t love the song, but I really like you. If you are going to write your own material, they have got to be killer, killer songs.”
David told him: “You took a big risk, it was very brave what you did.”
Those in the Britain’s Got Talent final on June 7 are hoping to win a prize of £250,000 as well as the spot at the Royal Variety Performance.