Belfast Telegraph

Battle heats up for BGT title

The battle to be crowned the winner of Britain's Got Talent 2013 began in earnest as the names were confirmed for the semi-finals.

Just 45 acts remain from the thousands who applied and the hundreds who auditioned and they will battle it out for the prize of £250,000 and a spot at the Royal Variety Performance.

Hungarian shadow dance troupe Attraction is the early bookies' favourites, 2-1 at Ladbrokes and 7-4 at William Hill. The nine-piece wowed the judges in the first heat broadcast last month when Amanda Holden described them as "one of the most moving acts I have seen in seven years".

Another act tipped to do well is British Cypriot soprano Aliki Chrysochou. The 29-year-old was diagnosed with a brain disorder, focal encephalitis, while at university and lost all co-ordination of speech and movement.

Aided by her mother she used singing to aid her recovery and has been performing and teaching music ever since. She impressed the judges with an emotional performance of Bring Me To Life by Evanescence. She received four "yeses" and nearly brought the judges to tears with the significance of the lyrics to her story.

Northern Irish teenager Jordan O'Keefe is also highly rated. The 18-year-old from Londonderry impressed the judges with his acoustic performance of One Direction's Little Things.

Welsh operatic brothers Richard and Adam Johnson will be hoping to add fans to stand alongside their nan, who is their number one fan.

And Band Of Voices, a group made from seasoned backing singers, are hoping for their moment in centre stage after wowing the judges with their rendition of Jessie J's Price Tag and the national anthem.

One of the last to go through was one of the youngest.

Gabrielle "Gabz" Gardiner, a 14-year-old singer and multi-instrumentalist from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, got the judges singing along with her when she performed an original song, The One, at the audition.

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