Do Britain's Got Talent stars with previous experience have an unfair advantage?

From recycling talent show acts to a professional singing career

Genevieve Cote performing on Britain's Got Talent
Genevieve Cote performing on Britain's Got Talent. (ITV)

Does previous experience give you an unfair advantage on Britain's Got Talent?

This is the question on everyone's lips after the show return to our screens this weekend. The show got off to an exciting start with a peak of 5.8million viewers tuning into the show, according to ITV. This would make Britain's Got Talent ITV's biggest overnight audience of the year so far since The FA Cup quarter final match.

But some viewers at home were complaining it was a "fix" because of people's backgrounds. Among the comments, one person said: "This show is so set up contrived it’s actually embarrassing #BGT."

We take a look at the current contestants that are causing the recurring question to be asked. As the show presents itself as 'Britain's Got Talent' suggesting that anyone can turn up and have a go, but in truth some of the stars are cherry-picked from all walks of life and some are even professionals in their chosen field.

A TV source told Yahoo: “Ultimately, it’s the public who decide their winner, irrespective of whether an act has some previous experience. There is no unfair advantage because the winner is crowned by the public vote.

“It’s fair game, as all acts are voted for by the public. The show has never hidden the fact that auditions are open to everybody, irrespective of previous experience, and everybody is given the same opportunity on the show.

“Regardless of whether they have some previous experience, these contestants are not household names, and are unknown to most of the public. The show offers contestants an opportunity to pursue their dreams and ambitions, and to perform to audiences on a global scale."

Sydnie Christmas

Sydnie Christmas is no stranger to TV. (ITV)
Sydnie Christmas is no stranger to TV. (ITV)

On Saturday, fans took issue with singer Sydnie Christmas who got the Golden Buzzer after her professional singing career was revealed. As well as singing on cruise ships, she has starred in stage show Lazarus which features David Bowie's music at the King's Cross Theatre, in London. The singer also headed to Germany to star in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Starlight Express in Bochum in 2019. According to her Lazarus stage bio, she has featured on TV before in movie Kick Ass 2 and reality show Stage School.

Social media was awash with fans moaning and some even claimed they would be switching off from the new series. Among the comments, one person wrote: "I absolutely give up. It’s a fix. #BritainsGotTalent #BGT."

"Everyone does know that Sydnie girl is a west end star already…. Cheated her way to that Golden Buzzer! #BGT #Britainsgottalent."

Another wrote: "I see #BGT is a fix already watching it on delay but dog girl should have definitely got the golden buzzer over singer girl she was good but not golden buzzer good #justmyopinion."

"Come on, @SydnieChristmas is already a professional, #BritainsGotTalent."

"Amanda Holden wasted your golden buzzer as Sydnie Christmas is used to giving a polished performance after appearing in starlight express in germany and Lazarus in the West End."

"Sydnie Christmas was amazing but why not be honest about her history in the west end? #bgt."

Fix or not, some viewers shared their enjoyment of the show. One person wrote: "Whether #bgt is a fix or not I really enjoyed Sydney’s audition. She really sang that as good as Jimmy Herrods version."

Tiktok star Trey Braine

Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden set up the audition for TikTok star Trey Braine
Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden set up the audition for TikTok star Trey Braine. (ITV)

On Sunday, fans were convinced the show was a fix after TikTok star Trey Braine was invited to perform on the show by Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon. The social media star believed he was going to be watching Diversity rehearse for their tour but in reality he was going to audition for Britain's Got Talent.

Heartwarming scenes captured the TikTok star's surprise and after the set up the 10-year-old told the BBC: "It was one of the most exciting days of my life." However, among the comments, one person wrote: "Another set up on #BGT he was ok but seen better."

Others added: "There used to be years I actually enjoyed #bgt #britainsgottalent but the issue I’ve got with it now is it’s very staged, previous acts who have gained fame in other countries, setup acts, golden buzzers for sob stories."

"The 'set up' pieces are becoming more frequent, predictable and honestly boring #BGT #BritainsGotTalent."

"If they hadn’t set up his audition and he’d just turned up they would’ve told him that was average. Which it was #BGT."

Recycling stars

Genevieve Cote

Genevieve Cote performing on America's Got Talent: Fantasy League. (Getty)
Genevieve Cote performing on America's Got Talent: Fantasy League. (Getty)

Britain's Got Talent viewers recognised Genevieve Cote from her previous talent shows: America's Got Talent and Canada's Got Talent.

Last year, she got the Golden Buzzer while performing on Canada's Got Talent and sailed through to the finals but she lost out to dance group Conversion. This year, she starred on America's Got Talent: Fantasy League as part of Howie Mandel's team.

Viewers were already clued up on this at home, with one person writing: "She has been on AGT and is a well known in the USA. Another one brought in."

"Quick Google she did Canada’s Got Talent and AGT: Fantasy. So Simon knows exactly who she is. #BGT."

"Hate to break it to you Alesha but Geneviève has been on Canada’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent. She’s doing the rounds! #BGT."

"Genevieve Cote Competef in Canada's got talent. Then appeared on America's got talent. So guess now it's #britainsgottalent turn. Are we not at the point now where "got talent" is just a traveling variety show."

What have the stars said about their past?

Since the show aired, singer Christmas has hit back at the West End claims. Lorraine Kelly addressed the claims on her daytime TV show. She said: "You have been grafting away, you have done the cruise ships, you've never been on the West End though?"

"No!" Christmas said in disbelief at the claims.

"You've never done any of that," Kelly clarified. "You've always wanted to. This is your dream isn't it?"

Christmas has always dreamed of being on the West End stage, though. "I just aspire to, I want to be a leading lady," she said. "That's the dream! That's the aim."

Yahoo has reached out to Britain's Got Talent representatives for comment.

Britain’s Got Talent continues tonight at 7:40pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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