FOR weeks millions of us have seen thousands of them stake their claim for stardom - ordinary people with sometimes extraordinary talents turned into, albeit temporary, celebrities.
And while there could be just one winner, a chance to do it all again at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena in front of those who voted was not to be sniffed at.
Victorious theatrical singer Jai McDowall showed he has the confidence to hold his own on the road when he delivered three rousing songs, closing with his winning cover of Josh Groban’s To Where You Are.
It might well have been the final time we witness the comedic dancing of Kendal telephone engineer Steve “The Dance” Hall or the quirky moves of Romanian Razy Gogonea, now a national hero in his home nation, but they returned to BGT Live like old friends.
For contemporary dancer James Hobley, who turned 12 on tour, and instinctive pianist Paul Gbegbaje, this was surely another step on the road to something more sustainable, both giving strong solo shifts and combining for turns with guitarist-singer Michael Collins and pint-size powerhouse Ronan Parke respectively.
One of the most cringe-worthy yet amusing displays had to be grinning organist Jean Martyn and Hall combining for a Greece medley, Hall’s earlier moves ranging from Beyonce to Riverdance as he revealed: “It was either this or Countdown”.
Cowell’s talent scouting vehicle may have lured just around 2,000 to the Arena this time, but it has surely given a lasting platform to the likes of chirpy mimic Les Gibson and, of course, plucky 12-year-old singer Ronan, who lost with dignity to Jai in the final but sparkled brightest here.
Never mind performing for the Queen this autumn, modest Scot Jai will be first to admit all these finalists deserved another day in the spotlight.
“We are living our dream and having the time of our lives,” he said, “and it’s all thanks to you guys.”