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I TAKE IT BACK.. IT'S BRILLIANT!

Byline: KEVIN O'SULLIVAN

WHAT the hell am I doing?" I suddenly thought as I leapt from my chair, punched the air and cheered so loudly I still can't believe the neighbours didn't complain.

Restoring my faith in canine nature, heroine of the hour Amanda Holden had just voted Gin the wonder dog into the final of ITV's sensational Britain's Got Talent.

And somewhere in London a cynical seen-it-all-before clever dick television critic went barking mad with infantile excitement.

That's the secret of this extraordinary show.

You get sucked in by a load of elaborately choreographed cobblers that cons us all rigid.

Don't get me wrong - I couldn't care less. This was a spectacular week of magnificent mass-market telly.

But talk about stage-managed! Did you notice how often the first two judges disagreed to make sure we ended up with numerous casting vote nail-biters?

The puppeteer panellists' other glaringly obvious prearranged role was to talk up a series of fourth-rate losers who had as much chance of making the big time as a one-armed golfer.

Let's face it. Most of the acts we saw were borderline rubbish. Especially those embarrassingly dismal dance troupes - not a single one of which should ever have been allowed out of their local community centre. And as for the nauseatingly "cute" kids - pass the puke bag.

But precocious pet Gin the genius was a genuine giant of entertainment who danced all over that woeful wannabe Dean Wilson. What's the West Side Story morning glory? He barely hit a note.

"I think we've just seen the winning performance," gushed Piers Morgan, who paid similar wildly overblown compliments to far too many no-hopers. Several of whom were subjected to that dreaded cliche "absolutely brilliant".

Piers also won the top clanger award for telling scantily-clad contortionist Iona Lusvandorj: "I couldn't even get up there."

Meanwhile, I must admit Holden grew on me. Like fungus. Only joking - the girl done good.

But there was a problem with all three judges. They just don't seem to have been around much. Tin-can percussionists Bang On were hailed as stunningly original.

Not to anyone who's seen Stomp - the drumming show that's been selling out all over the world for 20 years.

Alleged bullying victim Andrew Johnston has a decent enough junior chorister's voice.

But, no offence to his base camp Carlisle Cathedral, you'll find better boy singers at St Paul's or King's College Cambridge.

Night after night the enthusiastic Mr Morgan and tearful Amanda got carried away with below par plodders.

Thank God the Dark Lord was there to tell it like it really was - reliably knocking down every over praised mid ranker.

Cowell plays this contest like a financial fiddle and it was as plain as the pound signs in his eyes he saw "really special" Faryl Smith as this year's Paul Potts-style money spinner.

But, despite Simon's blatant business plan, peerless hosts Ant and Dec turned a parade of tat into must-see event TV.

In any case, the one true superstar of Britain's Got Talent was the show itself. This carnival of end-of-the-pier nonsense gripped the nation. And that's, er, absolutely brilliant.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 1, 2008
Words:521
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