By the time they’re done with this show it really will amount to fifteen whole minutes!
Last night, Tuesday 27th May, and trust me that date will go down in the annals of history for the Vincent-Abnett clan, the husband and I braced ourselves, put supper on a tray, poured ourselves a very large glass of wine each and sat down to watch Britain’s Got Talent.
Trust me, this is not our usual fare. In fact, we don’t watch the television. We don’t own a television. OK, that’s not quite accurate. There is one television in the house. It is a fourteen inch set that sits on a chest of drawers in the corner of our bedroom, gathering dust. We simply don’t watch it. In fact it has become so forgotten that if I want to watch something live, which almost never happens, I tend to stream it on my laptop.
We do watch things from time to time, but we choose what we watch and we have a little screening room where we go to watch those things. We don’t like the house to be invaded by television. If there’s a television on, you can bet your life that conversation will grind to a halt and all eyes will be directed at the screen. That’s not how we roll.
For very particular reasons, and, trust me, this shit isn’t going to happen very often, we dusted down the telly, climbed onto the bed, and ate supper off a tray. We were tense... unbelievably tense. The husband has addressed huge audiences with nothing but one square foot of real estate (by which I mean his noggin) to rely on. He has taken Q&As, he has been interviewed and he has simply talked on the subject of writing in general, and of his books in particular, in front of dozens or hundreds of people without a nerve, a shake or a wobble in evidence. I know. I’ve seen it.
He was nervous last night.
Frankly, I was a bloody wreck.
Last night, the dort appeared on Britain’s Got Talent with her dance crew The Addict Initiative.
We’ve been through the audition process, and here it is: (FYI, the dort's the blonde, curly haired girl. You can't miss her).
But that’s different. That happened weeks ago, and it was taped. What’s more, the kids knew the outcome. There were no surprises when the show was aired. The thing was edited and cleaned up, and it was all good.
Last night was a LIVE semi-final. Yes I said LIVE. OK, I shouted it... Twice. There was nothing I could do. There was nothing anyone could do.
I’ve seen the dort perform live dozens of times. I’ve seen her in the theatre. I trust her. She’s always well-prepared and well-rehearsed. She knows what she’s doing. She was put on this earth to perform. She’s good at it. If she wasn’t good at it she wouldn’t be one of the seven people in the best commercial dance crew in the country.
I’ve seen her on screen, too. I’ve seen her on YouTube dozens, maybe hundreds of time.
I don’t know why telly is different, but when the audition show aired, I found out that it was. Even though I knew the show had been taped, even though I wasn’t remotely nervous sitting down to watch it, when the crew was introduced, when it all started to happen, I felt different. I felt nervous. I was filled with that cold, wonky feeling.
I’d never felt that way before, watching the dort.
I don’t know whether it was because I somehow knew this was a mass, shared experience, that upwards of ten million people were watching the Addict Initiative with me, but this was a new and unsettling experience.
The live semi-final was worse. The live semi-final was worse because it was live, and it was worse because I knew how I’d felt the first time I’d seen the dort on television in the audition rounds for BGT.
In the audition show, The Addict Initiative was the first act on. It was over fast. Thank heavens.
In the semi-final show, the Addict Initiative was the seventh act. Seventh! The build-up was utterly nerve-wracking. I was shredded. I also gulped down three decent sized glasses of wine, so, frankly, I was a bit the worse for wear when they were finally announced. It was probably just as well.
Crikey! It was all over very fast! It was intense! It was fantastic! It was frantic and furious, and it was a bloody marvelous show!
We voted. We voted A LOT! We urged our followers on Twitter and our friends on FaceBook to vote. Our social networks positively buzzed.
I wasn’t sure I was even going to be able to watch the results show. Frankly, I had my hands over my face for quite a lot of it. I couldn’t help listening though. Listening becomes a thing. It’s like being in a tunnel with a lone voice at the other end calling to you.
Anyone who is a parent, anyone who has ever been in a situation with a person who has any kind of authority of her child will know what that feels like. It’s like the ultimate parent/teacher meeting... multiplied to the nth.
Then it came down to the wire. It was the judges' choice. Who was going through? Was it going to be the Addict Initiative or was it going to be the gorgeous girl singer with the amazing voice?
This is what the Addict Initiative delivered on the night:
The Britain’s Got Talent Grand Final airs on Saturday, 7th June. I’ll be there, because the dort will be there, on stage with the Addict Initiative. They’re good. They’re very, very good, and they’re going to show us all just how good they can be when they pull out all the stops for the Grand Final.