Britain's Got Talent first finalists selected including 'one of the best’ live acts, Simon Cowell says

Britain's Got Talent judges Bruno Tonioli, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

The first Britain’s Got Talent live semi-final saw "one of the best" live acts ever seen on the show win through to the grand final, according to Simon Cowell. Opera singer Innocent Masuku and taekwondo group Ssaulabi Performance Troupe both secured their places in Sunday’s final.

Sven Smith, The Trickstars, Trey Braine, Taryn Charles, Bikoon and Stardust all took to the stage but only two could make it through The ITV talent show's first live semi-final on Monday (May 27) saw singer Masuku automatically through to the final via the public vote.

Meanwhile the judges voted for Ssaulabi Performance Troupe over dog act The Trickstars. The South Korean taekwondo group said they practise five hours a day and received all four votes from the judges to make the final after their “cinematic blockbuster” live performance. They were presenters Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly’s golden buzzer act.

Simon Cowell said of their performance: “If that was a movie, that would have taken about a week to shoot literally, it would. And the fact that you did the whole thing live in about two-and-a-half minutes, says everything about you.

“I forget how many years we’ve been doing this now actually, but this is actually one of the best live show performances I’ve ever seen on this show.”

Meanwhile, South African opera singer Masuku said “this is my year” after winning a spot on the bill for the final. Judge Alesha Dixon described him as “the one to beat”, while Tonioli said his act was “flawless”.

Cowell said: “How snobby classical music is, I mean it really is, it is just awful and you deserve this opportunity because you are incredibly talented, you performed like a lead, you have that presence about you and your control over the song, everything about it for me was immaculate.”

Britain's Got Talent's Innocent Masuku
Britain's Got Talent's Innocent Masuku -Credit:ITV

The cast of Disney’s The Lion King also performed on the show, to celebrate 30 years since the release of the film.

The overall winner of this year's show will pick up a £250,000 prize and a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.

Here's what happened in the rest of Monday's episode:

The judges' verdicts on the rest of Monday's semi-finalists

Lucy Heath

The first live semi-final of this year saw Lucy Heath and her five dogs perform as The Trickstars to the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory themed dance. The dog trainer made the final of the talent show eight years ago, but missed a spot in the final line-up following the judges’ unanimous vote.

“I genuinely think your act has got better over the years,” Cowell said, adding he “loved it, loved it, loved it”. Tonioli described the act as “charming” while Holden said “you really are the golden ticket”, referencing the Roald Dahl classic book and film.


Comedian Bikoon! was up next but saw Dixon, Tonioli and Holden press their red buzzer as his “magic” bag failed several times to perform a simple trick. Cowell was visibly upset at the end of the performance when the magic bag opened to reveal a man inside, to which McPartlin joked the pair were a “Japanese Ant & Dec”.

Cowell said: “I’m really upset, I think the bag should have remained a mystery."

Sven Smith

Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon also pressed their red buzzer for air guitar act Sven Smith. “Call me old-fashioned but I prefer a guitar and a microphone,” Dixon said, while Holden questioned his place in the semi-final.

Taryn Charles

Bruno Tonioli’s golden buzzer recipient Taryn Charles received a much warmer response from the judges, after the singer performed a rendition of Lose Control by Teddy Swims. Cowell described it as a “genius choice of song”, adding: “I genuinely don’t think you could have done any more”, as well as calling it “beautifully raw”.

Duo Stardust

Simon Cowell was less impressed with his own golden buzzer act, rollerskating couple Duo Stardust from Ukraine. He said: “It wasn’t as good as the audition, I think you let the production overshadow your talent tonight which is a real shame – we lost the focus of you."

The pair finished their performance picking Tonioli from the panel and spinning him high into the air, which he described as “scary”.

Trey Braine

Cowell said he preferred the first half of 11-year-old dancer Trey Braine’s performance, but also revealed he recently used the schoolboy to exemplify “someone I believe has star potential – when you’ve got it, you’ve got it”.

He added: You’re naturally cool, naturally stylish, I really believe great things are going to happen in your life and your career."

Britain’s Got Talent’s semi-finals continue every night this week at 8pm on ITV1 and ITVX.