Bruno Tonioli knows exactly how BGT acts feel after audition struggles

The former Strictly Come Dancing star says he can identify with Britain's Got Talent contestants after years of knock backs.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Judge Bruno Tonioli attends the
Bruno Tonioli can relate to the Britain's Got Talent acts. (Getty Images)

Bruno Tonioli has admitted he knows exactly how the Britain's Got Talent acts feel at their auditions after going through years of knock backs himself.

The ITV show judge, who was formerly on the panel of Strictly Come Dancing, might be a huge star now but told This Morning he could remember all too well what it felt like to be struggling in the performing arts.

He also explained why he had made two Golden Buzzer picks on the show after a misunderstanding with Simon Cowell.

Britain's Got Talent contestants might feel a little daunted stepping out in front of a judging panel of four huge stars, but Bruno Tonioli has said he is "on their side" because the memories of his own terrifying auditions are still so fresh.

The former Strictly star sits alongside Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell to judge the variety show and said the struggles the acts faced were very familiar to him.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Judges Bruno Tonioli, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell attend the
The BGT judging panel have picked their Golden Buzzer acts. (Getty Images)

He told Friday's This Morning: "I love it, I don't feel like I'm judging, I feel like I'm part of it. Because I've done all that, I've auditioned, I'm on their side. What I find very inspiring is the amount of incredible talent out there. It's insane."

Read more: Britain's Got Talent

Tonioli admitted he still suffered from nerves, saying: "It happens now, before I do a live show I still have nerves - oh my god, terrible. Because I care. But instead of letting that stop you, allow it to give you the energy."

The judge chose The Phoenix Boys all-male dance troupe as one of his Golden Buzzer acts and said they reminded him of his own time trying to succeed in the industry.

Bruno Tonioli arrives for Britain's Got Talent auditions at The Lowry, Salford. Picture date: Friday February 9, 2024. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
Bruno Tonioli says he loves being a judge. (PA Images via Getty Images)

He said: "Dancing is a vocation, it's incredibly hard to succeed. How many times I have auditioned, how many jobs I've been turned down for. You do it for love. And those kids on that stage gave me really the essence of love for the craft. It just moved me and it takes you back in situations, not just me, every performer had to go through that process."

"I love being a judge," Tonioli added. "It allowed me to draw from all my experience in the industry. It will be my 50th year in September since my first job. I've done everything and I know what it's like and success hasn't come to me delivered on an envelope. It took me a very long time and it is hard work."

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Bruno Tonioli attends the Britain's Got Talent 2024 photocall on January 25, 2024 in London, England. (Photo by Kate Green/Getty Images)
Bruno Tonioli broke the Golden Buzzer in his enthusiasm to press it. (Getty Images)

BGT viewers will have noticed that Tonioli has two Golden Buzzer acts this year - as well as The Phoenix Boys, he also chose singer Taryn Charles to go straight through to the next round.

Explaining how he ended up with two acts, he said: "Well I didn't know the rules. I have to be honest, I asked Simon, are there any rules. I always take everything at face value so they said, you do what you want, darling. Well I did!"

Tonioli was so enthusiastic in pressing the buzzer for The Phoenix Boys that he actually cracked it in half.

He said: "They now have to reinvent it because it has never broken before. Somehow I did one of my martial arts and the whole thing collapsed, so now they have to do Bruno-proof buzzers."

This Morning airs on ITV1 at 10am on weekdays.