Now, I’m no expert singer, dancer or actor. I can’t defy gravity, nor can I contort anything but my face. So you must understand that this criticism comes from someone who in no way considers herself superior – but I do have just one question:

What does it say of a nation when the winner of its premier talent competition is a dog?

This dog is just being a dog.
This dog is just being a dog.

In November last year, I fell head over arse for The X Factor. There’s no love lost between myself and Gary Barlow – I sincerely believe his soul went the same way as his endearingly soft tummy. And Christopher Maloney is the devil in a terrifying orange skin. But Ella Henderson stole my heart with her rendition of Cher, and I can’t help but think that Rylan might be the messiah of British entertainment in coming years.

I even find The Voice vaguely entertaining. I like the concept of a talent show that focuses purely on the talent, though I do wonder if the judges spend more time trying to imagine the face of the singer than they do considering the merits of the singing itself. I also have many questions about the mechanics of Jessie J’s hair, though it’s all moot now that it’s gone the way of the Spice Girls and Broadchurch.

What I’m trying to say is that I love talent shows and I’m not quite sold on Britain’s Got Talent. Inquiry: what does it take to be British? Does Pudsey have a passport? Could he, under duress, harmonise to the national anthem? 

And – let’s address the elephant in the room here – where are the performing cats?

He just wants the chance to prove himself to you.
He just wants the chance to prove himself to you.

Dog nationalities and flying cats aside, I do like the concept of BGT. I do. I think. But my problem with the whole idea is the definition of talent. I can French braid my hair with my eyes closed, can I enter? There’s a guy in Covent Garden who can make a road-cone sound distressingly like a trumpet, does that qualify? 

I mean, have you seen Attraction perform? Here, shed a tear or forty:

It’s interesting, no doubt, though I am not as impressed with the formation of the castles as the audience seemed to be. I am certain I could manipulate my thighs into a better approximation of a turret. It’s poignant. But is it talent, per say? And if blocking light with one’s arse is talent, why have I not won yet? (Can I include any more rhetorical questions? Yes).

I’ll be honest though, I’m going to withhold judgment this year, if only for the wonderful jokes of Jack Carroll. Here, have a laff: 

If BGT could turn its weaknesses into strengths with any of the aplomb of young Jack, it’d be must-watch television. Who’d tune in to watch Simon Cowell slowly remove his make-up under fluorescent lights? I’ll bring the popcorn. Ant & Dec confess their love for each other onstage, whilst performing an erotic tango to “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble”? Yes. 

But if a dog wins again this year, I’m campaigning for a name change. Britain’s Got Things That Can Be Persuaded To Stand On a Stage. Let’s call a spade a spade. 

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