Britain's Got Talent: ITV defends against fix allegations after dad's 'surprise' audition
Britain's Got Talent bosses have hit back at fix claims from viewers who were sceptical about a contestant whose family had 'secretly' entered him to audition.
Singer Nick Edwards was shown being taken by surprise in the audience for the ITV talent show when hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly revealed his daughters Savannah and Cali, aged three and four, had entered him in the contest without his knowledge.
But some viewers on social media questioned why he was already wearing a microphone.
Read more: BGT fans upset as singer Loren Allred from Greatest Showman gets Golden Buzzer
A BGT spokesperson said in a statement: "We loved welcoming back our BGT viewers back after a year away. To report or allude to anything being staged or contrived regarding Nick's audition would be false and incorrect.
"Quite simply, when Nick entered the [London] Palladium auditorium during BGT auditions, he was approached to be part of our ‘gogglebox’ audience and told he would be mic'd up so we could capture his reactions throughout the day as he sat in the audience.
"He was totally unsuspecting. We did this so we could mic him up without him suspecting a thing."
Watch: Young BGT contestant wows judges with rendition of Writing's On The Wall
Edwards, 35, was shocked to see his daughters and their grandmother Tracey appear on stage with hosts Ant and Dec to reveal they had secretly signed him up to audition, as they didn't think he would have the confidence to do it himself.
He was then given some time backstage to warm up before performing on stage with a guitar for judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon, Simon Cowell and David Walliams.
His appearance on the ITV show - which returned to screens over the Easter weekend after COVID restrictions meant it could not take place in 2021 - was not the only audition to draw fix claims from viewers.
Cowell pressed his Golden Buzzer for comedian Axel Blake, 33, putting him straight through to the live semi-finals.
Blake is a successful stand-up comedian and his show Axel Blake: I’m Not Gonna Lie, filmed at The O2 in 2018 is available to watch on streaming platform Amazon Prime.
And Holden pressed her Golden Buzzer for American singer Loren Allred, who performed the ballad Never Enough from musical movie The Greatest Showman.
But some viewers thought her appearance on the talent contest for amateur performers was "unfair" as the 32-year-old singer initially recorded vocals for the film. The song is performed on screen by actor Rebecca Ferguson, who stars as opera singer Jenny Lind.
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Allred has also appeared on reality show The Voice in the US, coached by Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and duetted with the likes of Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli.