COLUMNIST: Sheffield's own Sophie Mei talks Britain's Got Talent...
The weird and wonderful talent show is back showcasing some of the best talent Britain has ever seen.
Yes get your hands over those imaginary buzzers or download the Britain’s Got Talent app to buzz for real, as the family entertainment show has returned. And this year is its 10th anniversary.
The first show of the series saw Madam Zucchini, a vegetable entertainer from Sheffield audition but sadly the judges weren’t peeling her act.
Also on the show was an insanely talented kid Beau Dermott singing Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked as well as some life-threatening stunts with a man swallowing samurai swords as he leapt and spun across the stage.
Leaving the shocked hosts Ant and Dec almost speechless.
Dec just kept saying: “What you doing man?!”
As all four judges (Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams) squirmed in their seats as they watched Alexandr Malagar, the sword swallower, through their fingers.
“I thought you were going to die,” said an astonished Simon Cowell.
But Mr Malagar said that the audition was just a “warm-up” for some more dangerous stunts.
The screen kept flashing with “Don’t try this at home,” as the death-defying artist, from Moldova, is highly trained and has already won Russia’s Got Talent.
He’s definitely one to watch, or not, if you’re squeamish.
I for one was looking out for the dance acts, as I reached the BGT semi-finals with myown bellydancing skills.
There were some bellydancers who took the stage on the first show, so I watched them with great interest.
I loved the fact that they were aged from 40 to 55 years-old, proving that dance is for everyone.
Sadly the trio failed to impress the judges who tried to buzz them to stop but their buzzers didn’t work.
The women tried to showcase bellydancing with a tribal-gothic style, a new form of the dance which has swept the country in recent years.
My favourite act of the night were the kids dressed as the queen and beefeaters.
The royalty-inspired dance troupe performed a slick street dance that is sure to get the Royal seal of approval.
There was also a bank worker on a piano who seemed dull at first glance but he was accompanied by a flash mob style choir who popped up gradually throughout the audience.
It was fantastic to watch.
Oh and then some foot juggling Togni brothers from Birmingham, unusual, but fabulous all the same.
Another highlight was a voiceover artist, who looked like Adam Sandler, and entertained as a comical impressionist.
I can’t wait to watch the series in full as it’s hard to call the winner.
People often criticise such reality TV shows, but for me it really did change my life.
I didn’t have any contacts in the media and entertainment industry before taking part, back in 2008, oh how time flies!
I genuinely don’t think I would have become a professional dancer (specialising in Bellydance, Hula, Bollywood & Samba) and work as a blogging journalist if it wasn’t for BGT and the judges encouragement.
I had trained in bellydancing and drama for years before entering the second series of the hit show and it was so amazing for little old me (well I was a young teenager then) to impress big hitters in the industry especially as I was so star struck by the judging panel who was then made up of the straight-talking but nice Piers Morgan, the lovely and beautiful Amanda Holden and the awesome Simon Cowell.
This week it was all about the “power couples” - whether they be disco dancing, tile smashing or shuffling - it was a show that looked into the lives of some weird and wonderful duos.
My personal favourite was Ian (from Barnsley) and Anne Marshall, who have been married 40 years and, performed a quirky rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love.’
The couple, who met when serving in the army, are sure to have a cult following now after they sang and danced (with some shuffling moves).
For me this is what BGT is about - normal people having a spotlight, that they wouldn’t normally, doing the things they love. It may have been a far from tuneful rendition but BGT is an entertainment show and the couple sure have the talent to really entertain and throw some shapes.
Behind closed doors in my house we too are, in my opinion, an eccentric family.
With me bellydancing and blogging my way through life and my fiancé Chris Hale is an entrepreneur who loves cooking and recently made it to the quarter-finals of MasterChef.
Our idol couple the Marshalls managed to amuse the judges so much so that David Walliams hit his golden buzzer, securing them a place in the live semi-finals.
I would love to see the couple win the show, proving that regardless of your age and background, you can still have fun and impress.
Sadly the fate was different for Geoffrey Payne from Burton-on-Trent who attempted a BGT “first” with his hula hoops which ended up getting caught in the tassels he was wearing. And it was for nos unfortunately for Geoffrey who works at the Black Country Living Museum, but fair play to him for giving it a go.
And awesome choirs were at it again on BGT.
This time it was Presentation School Choir, an all-girl group from Ireland, led by a funky conductor Veronica.
They mixed harmonies with slick and simple choreography which wowed all the judges with the choristers impressive formations.
Saturday night’s show ended on a high with a lovely polite lad auditioning to showcase his love for his mother.
Balance, aged 17, performed a solo dance routine which was smooth, comical and very clever.
He got four yeses and ultimate praise from music mogul Simon Cowell.
I’ll be blogging throughout the shows for The Star and mamamei.co.uk and bellydancebysophiemei.com
Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @SophieMei @MamaMeiBlog #BGTphie