Britain's Got Talent (series 5)
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Britain's Got Talent Series 5

Britain's Got Talent
Series 5
Broadcast from16 April -
4 June 2011
JudgesSimon Cowell (live shows only)
Amanda Holden
David Hasselhoff
Michael McIntyre
Louis Walsh (guest)
Presenter(s)Anthony McPartlin (ITV)
Declan Donnelly (ITV)
Co-presenter(s)Stephen Mulhern (ITV2)
Jai McDowall
OriginAyr, Scotland
Ronan Parke

Series Five of Britain's Got Talent, a British talent competition series, began broadcasting in the UK during 2011, from 16 April to 4 June on ITV; due to live coverage of the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final on 28 May, the final audition episode of the series was pushed back a day to avoid clashing with it. In the wake of Piers Morgan's departure the previous year,[1] and Simon Cowell's schedule leaving him unable to attend auditions for this series,[2] the producers staff recruited two new judges - David Hasselhoff and Michael McIntyre - to join with Amanda Holden,[3] with Louis Walsh returning as a guest judge when Hasselhoff's schedule made him unavailable to attend some of this series' auditions.[4] The subsequent change to the judging panel, along with Cowell's attendance during the live episodes, led to an amendment to the judges' vote that allowed the public vote to decide the winner in the event of a tie deciding the second semi-finalist to move on to the live final. Apart from the change in the judging panel, the studio for the live episodes was given a £1 million revamp before filming began.[5]

The fifth series was won by singer Jai McDowall, with singer Ronan Parke finishing in second place and boyband New Bounce in third place. During its broadcast, the series averaged around 10.9 million viewers, and was the first in the show's history to be aired in high definition. In an interview made after the series' broadcast, hosts Ant & Dec marked the fifth series as a poor one for the show because of the low quality of some of the participants that took part.[6]

Series overview

Alongside both Cowell and Holden, Hasselhoff and McIntrye both took part in the fifth series as judges, the former having been a judge on America's Got Talent

Following open auditions held the previous year, the Judges' auditions took place across January and February 2011, within London, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff, Liverpool and Birmingham; an additional round of auditions were held in Birmingham on 3 April, consisting of those found through their online videos on YouTube.[7][8] In December 2010, Simon Cowell revealed that, because of his commitments in launching the American version of The X Factor, he would only be present for the live episodes of this series.[2] Both this announcement, and the departure of Piers Morgan the previous year,[1] led to a change in the judging panel, in which Amanda Holden was joined by two new judges recruited by the producers - comedian Michael McIntyre; and actor David Hasselhoff, who had previously worked as a judge on America's Got Talent.[3] Owing to his work schedule in 2011, Hasselhoff was forced to miss the London auditions, leading to Louis Walsh standing in for him as a guest judge.

Prior to filming, plans had been made to incorporate an element from the format of The X Factor, in which auditions would be attended by a guest judge for each one;[9] such a format addition was later made for America's Got Talent in 2015. However, the format change was never made by the production team, for unknown reasons. For the first time in the show's history, after the auditions were over, some of the acts found themselves having to perform again, due to the judges facing some difficulty in making a final decision on whom to send through into the live semi-finals.[10]

Of the participants that took part, only forty-one made it past this stage and into the five live semi-finals,[11] with eight appearing in the first four and nine in the final semi-final, and ten of these acts making it into the live final. Because the live episodes now featured four judges, the rule on the judges' votes was modified as a result - if the judges were split over which two acts would follow the winner of the public vote, the decision would be made by which had received the second highest number of public votes. The following below lists the results of each participant's overall performance in this series:

  Winner |   Runner-up |   Third place
  Finalist |   Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote) |   Semi-Finalist (eliminated)
Participant Age(s) Genre Act From Semi-final Result
Abyss 17-28 Dancing Street dancers South London 3 Eliminated
Angela & Teddy 64, 12 Animals Dog tricks Swindon 3 Eliminated
Antonio Popeye 47 Variety Eye-popper / Dancer Romford 5 Eliminated
Bruce Sistaz 19, 27 Acrobatics Martial artists Essex 1 Eliminated
The Celtic Colleens 8-30 Dancing Blacklight Irish dancers Crawley 5 Eliminated
The Circus of Horrors 18-54 Variety Extreme variety show Various 1 3 Eliminated
Dance Angels Elite 8-24 Dancing Dance troupe Cardiff 4 Eliminated
David & Karen 39, 27 Magic Magicians Leicester 2 Eliminated (Lost Judges' vote)
Donelda Guy 66 Animals Dog trainer / Canine freestyle Portsmouth 1 Eliminated
Edward Reid 35 Singing / Comedy Comedy singer Leeds (originally Coatbridge) 4 Eliminated (Lost Judges' vote)
Enchantment 17-51 Acrobatics Acrobatic circus troupe Various 1 2 Eliminated
Follow the Right Path 14, 13 Singing Rap duo Bristol 5 Eliminated
Gay & Alan 56, 59 Music Handbell players Oxford 3 Eliminated (Lost Judges' vote)
Girls Roc 22-25 Dancing Variety dancers London and Kent 1 Eliminated
Herbie Armstrong 66 Singing / Music Singer / guitarist Hampshire 2 Eliminated
Jai McDowall 24 Singing Singer Ayrshire 4 Winner
James Hobley 11 Dancing Contemporary dancer Redcar 3 Finalist (Won Judges' vote)
Jay Worley 17 Singing Singer Beddau 3 Eliminated
Jean Martyn 59 Music Organist Staffordshire 2 Finalist (Won Judges' vote)
Jessica Hobson 19 Singing / Music Singer / keyboardist Sheffield 4 Eliminated
Joe Oakley 19 Acrobatics Trial biker Nottingham 1 Eliminated (Lost Judges' vote)
Les Gibson 41 Comedy Impressionist Liverpool 3 Finalist (Won Public vote)
Lorna Bliss 32 Dancer / Variety Britney Spears impersonator London 2 Eliminated
Marawa 28 Acrobatics Hula hoop artist London (originally Melbourne, Australia) 5 Eliminated
Mexican Mayhem 59, 4 & 3 Animals Trained chihuahuas Chingford 4 Eliminated
Michael Collings 19 Singing / Music Singer / guitarist Plymouth 5 Finalist (Won Judges' vote)
Michael Moral 21 Dancing Breakdancer France 5 Eliminated
Mr. & Mrs. 44 & 55 Singing / Music Singer/pianist and singer Coventry 5 Eliminated
Nathan Wyburn 21 Variety Visual artist Ebbw Vale 4 Eliminated
New Bounce 12-16 Singing Singers London 2 Third place
Out of the Blue 18-22 Singing A cappella singers Oxford 4 Eliminated
Paul Gbegbaje 19 Music Pianist Dagenham 1 Finalist (Won Judges' vote)
Pip & Puppy 20, 6 months Animals Opera singer with singing dog Bromsgrove 5 Eliminated (Lost Judges' vote)
Razy Gogonea 28 Dancing Breakdancer Manchester (originally Romania) 5 Finalist (Won Public vote)
Ronan Parke 12 Singing Singer Poringland 1 Runner-up
Steven Hall 53 Dancing Comedy dancer Kendal 4 Finalist (Won Judges' vote)
Stuart Arnold 48 Comedy Terminator impersonator / impressionist Rhyl 1 Eliminated
Ted & Grace 92,21 Singing Grandfather / granddaughter singers Scunthorpe 1 Eliminated
Two and a Half Men 26-28 Dancing Dance trio London 2 Eliminated
Up & Over It 31 Dancing Hand dancers London 2 Eliminated
Wachiraporn Tirpak 27 Variety Entertainer Kings Lynn (originally Thailand) 3 Eliminated
  • ^1 The locations of each respective group or their respective members were disclosed during their time on the programme.

Semi-finals summary

Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Buzzed out
Crystal Clear app clean.svg Judges' vote
  Won the public vote |   Won the judges' vote; won by public vote in the event of a tie
  Lost the judges' vote; lost by public vote in the event of a tie |   Eliminated

Semi-final 1 (30 May)

Semi-Finalist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Result[12]
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Girls Roc 1 Fire Dance Group 7th - Eliminated
Donelda Guy 2 Dog Act 5th - Eliminated
Stuart Arnold 3 Terminator Impersonator And Rapper Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th - Eliminated
Paul Gbegbaje 4 Pianist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd (Judges' vote tied - Won on Public vote)
Bruce Sistaz 5 Martial Artists 4th - Eliminated
Ted & Grace 6 Singing Duo 6th - Eliminated
Joe Oakley 7 Extreme Cyclist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd (Judges' vote tied - Lost on Public vote)
Ronan Parke 8 Singer 1st (Won Public vote)

Semi-final 2 (31 May)

Semi-Finalist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Result[12]
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Two and a Half Men 1 Dance Trio 4th - Eliminated
Enchantment 2 Acrobatic Circus Troupe Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 7th - Eliminated
Herbie Armstrong 3 Singer And Guitarist 5th - Eliminated
Lorna Bliss 4 Britney Spears Impersonator Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th - Eliminated
New Bounce 5 Boy band 1st (Won Public vote)
Jean Martyn 6 Organist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd (Won Judges' vote)
David & Karen 7 Illusionists 3rd (Lost Judges' vote)
Up & Over It 8 Table Based Hand Dancers Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 6th - Eliminated

Semi-final 3 (1 June)

Semi-Finalist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Result[12]
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
The Circus of Horrors 1 Extreme Stunt Performers 6th - Eliminated
Jay Worley 2 Singer 4th - Eliminated
Angela & Teddy 3 Dog Act 7th - Eliminated
Abyss 4 Street Dance Troupe 5th - Eliminated
Wachiraporn Tirpak 5 Entertainer Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th - Eliminated
Les Gibson 6 Impressionist 1st (Won Public vote)
James Hobley 7 Contemporary Dancer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd (Won Judges' vote)
Gay and Alan 8 Handbell Players Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd (Lost Judges' vote)

Semi-final 4 (2 June)

Semi-Finalist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Result[12]
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Dance Angels Elite 1 Dance Troupe 6th - Eliminated
Jessica Hobson 2 Singer And Pianist 5th - Eliminated
Mexican Mayhem 3 Trained Chihuahuas Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th - Eliminated
Out of the Blue: Class of 2011 4 Acapella Singing Group 4th - Eliminated
Nathan Wyburn 5 Visual Artist 7th - Eliminated
Jai McDowall 6 Singer 1st (Won Public vote)
Steven Hall 7 Comedy Dancer Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd (Won Judges' vote)
Edward Reid 8 Comedy Singer Crystal Clear app clean.svg 3rd (Lost Judges' vote)

Semi-final 5 (3 June)

Semi-Finalist Order Act Buzzes and judges' votes Result[12]
Cowell Holden McIntyre Hasselhoff
Marawa 1 Hula Hoop Artist 7th - Eliminated
Pip & Puppy 2 Opera Singer And Singing Dog 3rd (Lost Judges' vote)
The Celtic Colleens 3 Blacklight Irish Dance Troupe 4th - Eliminated
Mr. & Mrs. 4 Singers And Pianist Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 9th - Eliminated
Follow the Right Path 5 Rapping Duo 6th - Eliminated
Antonio Popeye 2 6 Eye-Popper Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg Crystal Clear action button cancel.svg 8th - Eliminated
Michael Moral 3 7 Bodypopper 5th - Eliminated
Michael Collings 8 Singer And Guitarist Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg Crystal Clear app clean.svg 2nd (Won Judges' vote)
Razy Gogonea 9 Bodypopper 1st (Won Public vote)
  • ^2 Jedward took part in Antonio Popeye's performance as backing dancers/singers.
  • ^3 Michael Moral was invited to perform in the fifth live semi-final by Cowell, due to the high standard of his performance.

Final (4 June)

  Winner |   Runner-up |   3rd place
Finalist Order Act Finished[12]
Steven Hall 1 Comedy Dancer 7th
Michael Collings 2 Singer And Guitarist 5th
Les Gibson 3 Impressionist 9th
James Hobley 4 Contemporary Dancer 8th
Paul Gbegbaje 5 Pianist 6th
Ronan Parke 6 Singer 2nd
Jean Martyn 7 Organist 10th
Jai McDowall 8 Singer 1st
Razy Gogonea 9 Bodypopper 4th
New Bounce 10 Boy Band 3rd


Episode Date Total viewers (millions)[15] Weekly rank[15] Share (%)
Auditions 1 16 April 11.42 3 40.5[16]
Auditions 2 23 April 10.62 3 41.5[17]
Auditions 3 30 April 10.65 1 39.9[18]
Auditions 4 7 May 11.69 1 42.2[19]
Auditions 5 14 May 9.72 3 32.0[20]
Auditions 6 21 May 11.16 1 42.2[21]
Auditions 7 29 May 11.53 1 40.4[22]
Semi-final 1 30 May 12.27 4 41.9[23]
Semi-final 1 results 11.16 6 38.2[23]
Semi-final 2 31 May 10.65 10 40.5[24]
Semi-final 2 results 10.04 15 35.8[24]
Semi-final 3 1 June 10.31 16 41.8[25]
Semi-final 3 results 8.67 17 28.9[25]
Semi-final 4 2 June 10.53 12 43.2[26]
Semi-final 4 results 10.48 11 39.1[26]
Semi-final 5 3 June 10.36 14 43.3[27]
Semi-final 5 results 10.61 9 42.3[27]
Live final 4 June 12.70 2 47.0[28]
Live final results 12.95 1 49.3[28]

Criticism & controversies

"Poor treatment" claims

After the fourth live semi-final had been aired, several viewers took to social media to make complaints regarding the treatment of singer and pianist Jessica Hobson, in which they criticised the show's producers for having set her up with a song that would effectively cause her to lose. In response to these claims, Britain's Got More Talent presenter Stephen Mulhern refuted the criticism by reiterating the show's commitment to overseeing the well-being of participants at all stages of the competition, including supporting them and making them "the best they can be" in their efforts to ensure that each episode of the programme is "just right".[29] Although viewers also included Simon Cowell within their claims around Hobson's loss, these had taken his criticism of her performance out of context - in reality, while his criticism did indeed remain negative over her act for the semi-final, it was ended with his opinion that "the show did you [Hobson] wrong tonight".[30]

Malicious blog

Prior to the final live semi-final being aired on television, an unknown individual, purporting to be an executive at Cowell's company Syco, published a blog on the internet in the style of an insider source, which claimed that the competition had been fixed so that singer Ronan Parke would win the fifth series. Amongst this blog was additional claims that Syco had been grooming the singer for two years before the show was aired in 2011, and that he had already been signed up to a record label. Although the blog received a sizeable number of views and interest, it was promptly removed at the request of Syco, which refuted the claims along with Parke's family, the show's producers and Cowell, stating that they had been unfounded and that the blog had been created as a form of online bullying against Parke, dubbing it a form of "malicious communications". The blog's creation became a serious matter for Cowell and the producers, both of whom forwarded their allegations to Kensington and Chelsea police, who agreed to investigate the matter and uncover the identity of the blog's creator.[31] The blogger later apologised, after police cautioned him for his actions.[32]


  1. ^ a b "PIERS MORGAN 'I'll miss the late-night drinking sessions with Ant and Dec - and winding up my co-judges'". Daily Mail. 9 October 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Britain's Got Talent: Simon Cowell return for semi-finals confirmed - Mirror Online". Daily Mirror. 17 May 2011.
  3. ^ a b McIntyre, Hasselhoff for 'Britain's Got Talent' Digital Spy, 14 December 2010
  4. ^ Britain's Got Talent auditions hit London Now Magazine
  5. ^ "Simon Cowell confirms Britain's Got Talent set for revamp | STV". Entertainment. 11 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Ant and Dec admit Britain's Got Talent has had some dud years". 21 February 2014. Retrieved 2014.
  7. ^ Simon Cowell wants extra Britain's Got Talent auditions Archived 4 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine Unreality TV, 3 March 2011
  8. ^ Birmingham sees Britain's Got Talent sweep in Express & Star, 4 April 2011
  9. ^ "Britain's Got Talent To Feature Guest Judges". MTV UK. 23 December 2010. Retrieved 2010.
  10. ^ "Britain's Got Talent shock as acts have to perform again to get into semi-finals | STV". Entertainment. 29 May 2011.
  11. ^ "Final 40 acts revealed! - Britain's Got Talent 2011 - - News".
  12. ^ a b c d e f "The votes revealed!". ITV. 6 June 2011. Archived from the original on 5 July 2011. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ "Amanda Holden to perform on Britain's Got Talent | STV". Entertainment. 28 May 2011.
  14. ^ "Britain's Got Talent 2012 | Britain's Got Talent news and spoilers | TellyMix".
  15. ^ a b "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 2018.
  16. ^ Millar, Paul (17 April 2011). "Revamped 'Britain's Got Talent' dazzles 10.4m". Retrieved 2011.
  17. ^ Millar, Paul (24 April 2011). "New 'Doctor Who' kicks off with 6.5m". Retrieved 2011.
  18. ^ Millar, Paul (1 May 2011). "'Doctor Who' audience slips to 5.4m". Retrieved 2011.
  19. ^ Millar, Paul (8 May 2011). "'Britain's Got Talent' soars past 10 million". Retrieved 2011.
  20. ^ Millar, Paul (15 May 2011). "Eurovision TV ratings reach 11-year high". Retrieved 2011.
  21. ^ Millar, Paul (22 May 2011). "Sing If You Can' beats 'SYTYCD". Retrieved 2011.
  22. ^ Millar, Paul (30 May 2011). "'Scott & Bailey' makes strong debut". Retrieved 2011.
  23. ^ a b Laughlin, Andrew (31 May 2011). "'Britain's Got Talent' semi nabs almost 11m". Retrieved 2011.
  24. ^ a b Laughlin, Andrew (1 June 2011). "'Britain's Got Talent' semi-final peaks at 10.5m". Retrieved 2011.
  25. ^ a b Laughlin, Andrew (2 June 2011). "Apprentice' ratings hit by 'Britain's Got Talent". Retrieved 2011.
  26. ^ a b Laughlin, Andrew (3 June 2011). "'Bums, Boobs and Botox' nabs 1.3m on C4". Retrieved 2011.
  27. ^ a b Millar, Paul (4 June 2011). "'Britain's Got Talent' ratings heat up for last semi". Retrieved 2011.
  28. ^ a b Millar, Paul (5 June 2011). "'Britain's Got Talent' final grabs 12.5m". Retrieved 2011.
  29. ^ Britain's Got Talent' defended over Jessica Hobson tears
  30. ^ Return of Mr Nasty: Simon Cowell makes 19-year-old singer cry on Britain's Got Talent as singer Jai and dancer Steven go through
  31. ^ Duncan, Andy (3 June 2011). "Simon Cowell calls police in over BGT hopeful Ronan Parke 'fix' slurs". Metro. London. Retrieved 2011.
  32. ^ Michael Hogan (31 May 2017). "Britain's Got Talent: the biggest controversies of all time". Retrieved 2017.

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