Despite all the controversy about BGT being fixed, in the end it was the result that no one could have predicted – not even Simon. Jai McDowall has been voted winner of Britain’s Got Talent 2011.
Talented, but not obviously star quality, the earnest Scotsman came from virtually nowhere to beat nine other finalists and scoop £100,000, ahead of the odds-on favourite Ronan Parke.
Even the judges looked visibly shocked, Amanda expressing her disappointment that her favourite (Ronan) was beaten into second place, ahead of Jacksons sound-alike band, New Bounce.
Presumably in an attempt at transparency to deflect allegations that the show is ‘rigged’, all of the acts’ places were read out in reverse order from 10 to 4 before the top three were announced: New Bounce (3rd), Ronan Parke (2nd) and Jai McDowell (1st).
And while history has shown that in the long term coming second in these competitions is often preferable to winning (Olly Murs who was runner up in The X Factor being the obvious example), it is possible that many people didn’t vote for Ronan Parke because of anger at the allegations – unfounded of course – that he had already been chosen as the winner by Simon Cowell.
Maybe we’ll never know, but two things seem certain. One is that all the controversy won’t have been bad for ratings. Secondly little Ronan Parke with his angelic voice and foppish Justin Bieber style haircut will be remembered long after Jai McDowall has been forgotten.
BGT 2011: Nicole Scherzinger
Arriving at Fountain Studios, Wembley for live final