Martial artists secure second golden buzzers of Britain's Got Talent launch episode

Martial arts group on Britain's Got Talent
The Ssaulabi Performance Troupe was awarded the second golden buzzer of the night -Credit:ITV

Two acts were awarded the prestigious golden buzzer during Britain's Got Talent's launch episode on Saturday night.

The contest kicked of its 17th series, with Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and Bruno Tonioli returning to judge the talent on offer. And the performers really seemed to impress, with a vocalist and a martial arts group earning the first two golden buzzers of the season.

Each judge typically gets one golden buzzer per series, granting the act a place in the live shows. Vocalist, Sydnie Christmas, 28, wowed the judges with her powerful tones while the Ssaulabi Performance Troupe demonstrated their finely-honed taekwondo skills on the ITV show.

READ MORE: ITV Britain's Got Talent fans say 'well deserved' as singer gets first golden buzzer of series

Christmas, hailing from Kent, drew immediate attention from the judges and audience alike, thanks to her optimism and quick wit. The aspiring West End actress shared how she'd moved to London, but was currently working at a fitness centre.

Despite facing some initial criticism from Cowell regarding her choice of song, Tomorrow from Annie, she was met with overwhelming praise after her heartfelt rendition. The audience and the entire judging panel showered her with appreciation and applause.

Holden commended her performance, saying: "What struck me so much about you is just how naturally funny, how warm, how brilliant your presence was the minute you walked on the stage. How you were entertaining everyone but then you brought us the most heartfelt, beautiful version of that song."

She added it was the "best version" of the song she had ever heard, quickly providing her a golden buzzer and driving Christmas to her knees in surprise and delight. Cowell also commended her outstanding performance as he said: "That reaction we just had in the room is rare.."

He voiced his admiration for those striving hard to get their break into showbiz: "Everyone's aware it's tough to get that break for something which you really love. You so deserve what you just got. Your control was amazing. I used to hate that song and now I absolutely love it."

Later in the episode, an international performance group, the Ssaulabi Performance Troupe, revealed that they travelled all the way from South Korea to demonstrate their martial artistry skills. The dynamic taekwondo show put on by the group, ages ranging from 19 to 23, saw them perform intricate somersaults and flips whilst breaking wooden planks seamlessly with their hands and feet.

During one enthusiastic display, a troupe member performed pirouettes while consistently breaking several wooden planks and at numerous other moments, a member would be dramatically flung into the air to deliver powerful kicks breaking a series of planks. Astounded throughout the routine, hosts Ant and Dex finally dashed to the judging panel to commend the group with their deserving golden buzzer.

A brunette singer stood on stage in front of a microphone
Sydnie Christmas sang Simon's most-hated song - Tomorrow from the Annie musical -Credit:ITV

Judge Tonioli lauded the routine for its "power, the beauty and the artistry" that surpassed everything he had previously witnessed on the stage, calling it an act that blew "out of the water", while Dixon commended their evident "discipline hard work and dedication".

The judges have previously disclosed that this series will see nine golden buzzers being awarded, shattering their usual one-per-person limit.

In another segment of the episode, a singing group called Rask AI had the judges in stitches as they utilised artificial technology to superimpose the judge's heads onto characters from the popular 2017 film The Greatest Showman. The act received four yeses, with Dixon describing it as "absolute madness" and Cowell labelling it as "genius". However viewers didn't share the judges enthusiasm, branding the opening act 'weird' and 'terrible.'

The show also featured stand-up comedian Bobby Goldfin, who delivered a fish-themed routine that involved him repeatedly forgetting he had started, as well as "forgetting" that he had even done the audition as he returned to the stage several more times throughout the episode.

Viewers already reckon they've worked out who is behind the act, while they were left divided by his routine.

Britain's Got Talent continues on Sunday April 21 at the slightly later time of 7.40pm on ITV1 and ITVX.