Saturday, March 24, 2012

'Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse': Simon Cowell ends up eating his words after being blown away by 'male SuBo'

By Paul Revoir and Alasdair Glennie

As he walks on stage, his very appearance prompts Simon Cowell to mutter ‘just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse.’

But following in the footsteps of Susan Boyle, Jonathan Antoine will tonight become the latest Britain’s Got Talent sensation.

Shy and overweight, with a halo of frizzy brown hair, the 17-year-old from Loughton in Essex would at first seem to be an unlikely star.

He's got talent: The 'male SuBo' Jonathan Antoine with singing partner Charlotte Jaconelli during the London auditions for ITV's Britain's Got Talent

But as the classically-trained singer opens his voice to perform The Prayer by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, Jonathan soon has the judges on the BGT in raptures – and Cowell calling him a ‘huge star’.

And in an echo of Susan Boyle’s first appearance on the ITV talent show, the teenager, who performs with his signing partner Charlotte Jaconelli, 16, admits he is highly unconfident after years of abuse.

Cowell, 52, says: ‘You’re not saying much Jonathan. Are you shy?’, to which he replies: ‘Sometimes.

I’ve always had problems with my size since I can remember and when I was in primary school. It was back then that I had the p*** taken out of me, that’s all.’

He then credits Charlotte, whom he met through his singing teacher, adding: ‘Charlotte’s been a really big help to me in terms of confidence and making me a better performer, and I really don’t want to be going up on stage today, but I didn’t have a choice about that.’

Charlotte added: ‘I’m quite protective of Jonathan now. Before you make a judgement about someone you should get to know them. It’s clichéd, but judging a book by its cover. You’ve got to read what’s inside.’

After their performance, the entire crowd at the Hammersmith Apollo erupt into applause, and judge

Alesha Dixon tells them: ‘It’s not very often that that happens. That you can move an audience like that.

‘You sing beautifully together. So well done.’

Judge David Walliams added: ‘A pop voice and an opera voice together. It was incredible.’

However, Cowell attempts to split the duo up, saying: ‘Okay, this is what I think, Charlotte. I think you’re good, but Jonathan – you’re unbelievable.

‘You have an outstandingly good voice. How old are you? That’s unbelievable. Jonathan, you are a huge star.

Tanned and fabulous: A duo named Two of a Kind take to the stage during the first episode

Dramatic: Simon Cowell is sure to like this elaborate act

Very different contestants: A warrior named Anthony and a guitarist named Sam

‘I like the fact that this works as a duo, but I worry Charlotte whether you are going to hold him back.’

Defiant, Jonathan tells the music mogul: ‘Well, we’ve come on here as a duo and we’re going to stay on here as a duo’.

As they get a yes from all the judges, Cowell admits defeat – for the time being – saying: ‘You know what. My head would say to you Jonathan, dump her. And then my heart would say, ‘but there is something kind of magical at moments together as well’. So I am going to say yes to the two of you.’

When asked by hosts Ant and Dec if that felt like a life-changing moment, Jonathan says ‘yes, to be honest.’ And Charlotte adds: ‘I think – for you.’

The pair will now perform in the live semi-finals.

The battle of the singers: Girls take to the stage

Do you like our style? A duo named Bradley and Barbara give it their all

The audience is very much in keeping of that of Susan Boyle, who shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent in April 2009 after she subdued hecklers with a rendition of I Dreamed a Dream, from the musical Les Miserables.

Following the show, where she came runner-up to dance act Diversity, Miss Boyle was treated at the Priory clinic for exhaustion, but went on to find worldwide fame.

The former church volunteer, who lives alone with her cat in Blackburn, West Lothian, has since amassed a fortune of more than £10million after selling more than 16million copies of her three albums to date.

The singer – nicknamed SuBo - was named one of top music money makers of 2011 by American magazine Billboard after earning a staggering £3 million alone ($4,770,339) last year. She is now one of the most successful recording artists ever.

What could possibly be happening? Another act has their time to shine

What could they possibly be doing? Sound of Soul take their turn



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