Opinion: Death-defying Darcy left me feeling undone in BGT final

Collabro steal the crown at the end of a largely forgettable series, writes Karen Hyland.

And so it's all over - and the fat lady didn't even sing. Just Cheryl Cole. The irony of this on the Britain's Got Talent final is lost on no one, I'm hoping.

Collabro were crowned the winners. More on that later but, despite the proclamations about the amazing mix of variety this year, we still ended up with singing acts in the top three - Lucy Kay, then Bars & Melody.

Making it all a bit - well, X Factor.

Further, in an evening when some finalists stunned with genuine surprises, these singing acts were all same-same. We got what we'd seen before from them - in Collabro's case, literally, as they sang Stars from Les Mis again. Other musicals do exist, fellas.

In terms of courage and excitement, Darcy Oake and Lettice Rowbotham were top of my list.

Darcy Oake performs in the Britain's Got Talent final  Photo credit: Tom Dymond/Thames/REX

Darcy trussed up in a strait jacket with 52 seconds to save his life before being squished by a human bear trap was heart-in-mouth stuff. The sight of his incredible body writhing around didn't hurt either.

But he's also an incredible showman: hugely charismatic, just the right side of strange and with a great eye for production.

He had a lucky escape twice over last night - first from the trap, second from Svengali Simon, who wouldn't have a clue how to steer his career.

Then we had lovely Lettice. I'd happily have her in the corner of my TV like the subtitles guy, just smiling and giggling.

And it was Fresh Lettice, too, as she revealed she can sing as well as play the fiddle, belting out a line from the Evanescence track she performed again.

A brave move, when she'd already established herself as a musical talent.

Watching their smug faces, it was clear Jack Pack thought they had the show in their knapsack."


Early favourites to win Paddy and Nico only managed ninth place in the end. I must concede it was their best performance. Far more fluidity to the routine rather than the jolty stop-start moves. 

The suggestive stroking of Paddy's leg was still gag-inducing though and ruined the overall tone. Yes, it's salsa but there is - thankfully - nothing sexy about these two. There is, however, no denying she's an amazing ambassador for the older generation.

Jack Pack threw away their hopes of glory in the live semis. Watching their smug faces, it was clear they thought they had the show in their knapsack. We Brits tread a very fine line between confidence and cockiness.

Impressionist Jon Clegg used his wildcard performance to prove that... he really does have his Dec routine nailed, and could make some pennies if the presenter can't be bothered to get out of bed to do advert voiceovers.

I'm pretty sure the puppet masters will already be grooming teen singer James Smith for global domination.

Addict Initiative? The judges loved ‘em. I just saw the same three moves they pull each time: mini star-jumps, thrashing their hair to the side and lolling their heads between their legs as though they're feeling sick. I didn't get the fuss at all.

Collabro's win was the predictable conclusion we should've all come to expect from this show."


The only act to get the buzzer treatment last night - from Simon - were the Parisian dancers in high heels. The guys really need a name for the act. Shame Les Trois Garçons has already been coined. And I bet Simon couldn't have walked off-stage in protest, if you know what I'm saying...

So, back to Collabro, winners of BGT 2014. Yes, they are superb singers, therefore a great act. Yes, they will please Queenie at The Royal Variety Performance and, yes, they will be on your mum's iPod come Boxing Day.

It’s just their win was the predictable conclusion we should've all come to expect from this show. And Simon Cowell.

If the producers are to learn anything from this year's run, it's that the five nights of semis don't work. Viewers are not prepared to sit through all that filler.

And I'm not (just) talking about Amanda's face. Come on, you'd have been disappointed had I not said it one last time...