After an 'oh dear' moment with one act that I think may be a set-up but isn't we get another one that has to be. Some chap from Romania or Italy called Cesar has trousers that are 3 inches too short. I wished that I hadn't noticed that because it spoils the entertainment in that he has some weird operatic voice that can sing in different octaves, playing two parts as it were.
Cesar gets plenty of respect which is deserved but I wouldn't want to see him in the Live Shows or this will be simply BGTII.
Louise Sitara is a cleaner and that's not her real surname but we don't mind. She's an Over at 30 and sings an original tune. Very nice voice. She'd been in a band and had been signed way back but nothing seems to have developed for her. A little bit like Linda Ronstadt in the 1960s in style. She stands out for me. Solid talent.
This is turning into an Overs night as we meet Claire Angel. She is pretty experienced but has quite a lot of bad habits and I doubt she'll get far. Not brilliant but OK. She somehow gets a standing ovation from the panel which I don't understand at all. Robbie even says she's the best technically that he's heard. She does have a nice personality and may be popular, I guess.
Staying with the Overs we meet Panda Ross again. I say 'again' because she got turned down on X Factor USA in each of its three years on screen. So she and Simon go back. She's a talented woman and does a good job of Natural Woman but she's not current or really likely to set the charts alight. Good TV I suppose but there seem to be plenty likely to get through on that reason already who may even also have some chart potential in the UK 2018.
Charlotte Lilly may or may not be an Over but I think probably not. She has a guitar and does a very wacky version of YMCA. I like her but the panel seem unsure.
Gaia Cauchi is from Malta and is just 15 with a brace. She's pretty bouncy and could work in a group perhaps. Not on her own as she stands, though. A bit odd.
Ging Zilla is the ultimate weird guy. Orange hair, beard and tight dress. Frightening in some ways but just amusing in others. He's also Australian and that's a surprise. Actually a damn good singer and entertaining but I'm not really wanting to see too many weird and wonderful acts in the Live Shows.
J-Sol closes the first part of the weekend show with a nice voice, lots of soul and emotion. I am not sure how he'd manage covers rather than his own song. He's pleasant enough and we haven't had many entrants like him so far so I reckon he'll be through easily.
First we meet Thomas Pound from Wales and he's a cheerful sort of guy who we soon discover is also Lady Freda Wild. So, whilst he can clearly sing well he gets told to go away and come back as his drag queen persona.
Chloe McAllister is from Northern Ireland and she sits at a piano and sings a nice Jesse Ware number. Super singer, very talented. Simon says he got bored. Not one of his better off-the-cuff remarks, to be honest. The others love her.
Blaise Duncan is only 16 but has something special about him with a nice Enrique Iglesias number. We have not seen many Latino influences yet and we'll need a few. Not bad, good performance and confidence for his age. It looks like Simon will stick him in a group with some of the ones following.
John is 18 and comes from Cambridge. An OK performance but he's got the looks and a definite group guy for later.
Elliot Horne is another good looking youngster that will have to be in the shows. He's actually quite good on his own so may escape a group.
Now we get an actual group. AT TY are four gospel types who do a weird number and I don't think they're much good at all. I can only imagine the panel heard something completely different to me because they were raving about them.
Thomas Pound is back in his Tina Turner gear that, yes, very conveniently, he had tucked away somewhere for this very moment. Another good job. Genuinely damn good singer but his expression and face don't look great on TV. He'll get quite a bit further but I wouldn't have him on the Live Shows. There really seem to be more than enough weirdos this year.
And that's that.
We now get to see who gets which category. It's been pretty public knowledge for a while now as this was all filmed in the hot, hot summer. But if you did miss it:
Boys: Louis T
The people who did get through are sliced pretty much in half with about 60 getting through to the Six Chair Challenge. I only get a glimpse of one or two looking disappointed (or cheering wildly) so cannot really draw much by way of conclusion.
I should be able to access the data for who made it and will add it to the site as and when I have it.