Singing brothers and an 11-year-old girl were the two acts to go through in the first semi-final of Britain’s Got Talent.

Richard & Adam and Arisxandra Libantino were chosen from the first nine contenders of the final 45 in the ITV1 competition.

Richard & Adam, aged 19 and 22, from Holywell, Wales, topped the public vote after singing their version of Somewhere, from West Side Story.

And Arisxandra was second in the public vote after performing I Have Nothing, by Whitney Houston.

Britain’s Got Talent bosses had to turn to the vote after the judges drew 2-2 when expressing their preference for Arisxandra or 33-strong dancing troupe Youth Creation, from Essex.

During the show Simon Cowell had a tilt at Sir Bruce Forsyth, who reportedly criticised the show for featuring children. Entertainment legend Sir Bruce was recently said to have claimed that being on the show is an ‘ordeal’ for many of them and results in many of them crying.

“I don’t think that’s entertainment,” he said. “I don’t think they should put children on that are too young.”

He reportedly said children should be on a separate show called British Children Have Talent.

Simon praised Arisxandra after she sang, saying: “If you’ve got it, you’ve got it, who cares how old you are. It was one of the best performances of the night, and I would like to dedicate this one to Bruce.”

Earlier he asked Youth Creation, who are aged seven to 14, if they thought they should be on Britain’s Got Talent, as somebody ‘grumpy’ had said they should not be, and they shouted out “Yes”.

Those who missed out included Martin Healey, 57, from Leeds, who dresses as a vicar to dance with a papier mache nun, impressionist Philip Green, 21, from Shepperton, Surrey, who was told by judge Alesha Dixon, “You are going to have a career, whatever happens”, and 44-year-old Belgian magician Aaron Crow, who fired an arrow to split an apple on the head of co-host Declan Donnelly.