Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Talent crown up for grabs in final

Britain's Got Talent judges David Hasselhoff, Amanda Holden and Michael McIntyre

Ten acts are to compete in a bid to carry off the crown in the popular Britain's Got Talent TV show.

Dancer Razy Gogonea and singer Michael Collings won their way through to the final in the last semi-final.

Gogonea won the public vote on Friday night on the ITV1 show, and Collings was the judges' choice to accompany him to the final. They will now battle it out with Les Gibson, James Hobley, New Bounce, Jean Martyn, Ronan Parke, Paul Gbegbaje, Jai McDowell and Steven Hall.

After thousands of hopefuls auditioned, it is down to the final 10 acts to compete to win the competition, take home £100,000 prize money and win a slot on this year's Royal Variety Performance.

Meanwhile, show supremo Simon Cowell used the last semi-final to hit back at claims that he has been grooming 12-year-old Parke for stardom for two years.

Cowell called in the police after an anonymous internet blogger alleged Parke already had a management deal and had been moulded to appeal to the audience. The blogger said Parke has been known to Cowell's firm, Syco, for two years.

Cowell said on the show on Friday night: "I've got to say something, I've got to address something that's been in the press today. There have been allegations made in the papers, not in the papers actually, on the internet, that Ronan Parke has a previous recording contract with my record label, that I'd met him before, both of which are complete and utter lies.

"The first time I met Ronan was when he appeared on the show, he entered it of his own accord. He is 12 years old, this is a deliberate smear campaign and it is my job as somebody who works on this show to make sure whoever this liar is, is exposed, and Ronan is treated the same way as everyone else and it will be the public who decides."

The boy himself has dismissed the claims as "really silly". He told ITV News: "I have not been coached by anyone to do with Simon. I have never met Simon in my life. I'd love to, but I never have. I have been coached by a singing teacher in Norwich that we pay for. No one's paid for our clothes or anything. It's really silly."

Twitter has been buzzing with thousands of people posting links to the blog, which also alleged Parke's hairstyle, clothing and mannerisms were all choreographed. But the claims resulted in Cowell's lawyers going to a west London police station to report an offence. It is not yet known if officers will take action.