Simon Cowell brought an unexpected end to the first round of Britain’s Got Talent auditions by giving the coveted Golden Buzzer to teen singer Sarah Ikumu.
The 15-year-old wowed audiences with her show-stopping rendition of And I Am Telling You on Saturday night’s show.
Simon seemed cynical as she walked shyly on to the stage in a jumper and jeans, while her parents and sister watched from the crowd.
Both he and the waiting audience looked far from optimistic as he described the track as one of the “biggest songs in the world”.
But her flawless performance of the emotional epic brought the auditorium at London’s Palladium theatre to its feet as Simon hit the button to automatically propel her to the competition’s semi-final.
“I have heard that song a lot,” he said. “I thought it started great and then it’s like you became possessed halfway through, it was quite incredible.”
Co-judge Amanda Holden described Sarah’s audition as “mind-blowing”, while Alesha Dixon said: “I didn’t press that Golden Buzzer because I wanted Simon to press it – I want you to go far and I think Simon can help you because you are a superstar.”
David Walliams joked: “It was all right.”
Sarah was not the only person to impress the judges, as they were swept up in a whirlwind evening of stand-up comedy, mind-reading trickery, animal-masked dancers and a twerking magician.
They even took to the stage themselves, bringing their own dogs up to join contestant Mahny and pet Robbie for some “doga”.
Even though David received a nasty surprise when one of the canine stars relieved himself in his polished shoes, the pair were waved through to the next round of the competition with three yeses.
Among the acts that scooped a full hand of yeses were eight-year-old comedian Ned Woodman with his witty one-liners aimed at the judges, and police officer Dan Graham, who broke out some impressive dance moves while in uniform.
The panel also showed their support, and their tears, for The Missing People Choir, who gave a heart-wrenching performance of original song I Miss You dedicated to their lost loved ones.
Emotions were flipped again as the audience were left completely awestruck by Essex-based mind-reading duo DNA.
Not only did they appear to read Simon’s mind, but they managed to slip another trick past the room when they pointed out that they had changed their T-shirts during the act.
Britain’s Got Talent continues on ITV with the second round of auditions at 8pm next Saturday.