Every season there are acts that make it onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage that are just a bit more weird or eccentric than the rest.
They are the ones that have the judges and audience gasping, hiding their faces, speechless with surprise or completely freaked out. It’s quite amazing the extraordinary talents people develop and the things that end up amusing us the most.
Here are a few examples of the weird and wonderful contestants who have surprised us – as well as Simon Cowell and the other BGT panel members – over the years.
Some have gone on to greater things and others have disappeared off our screens as quickly as they arrived, but all their performances were memorable in their own unique way.
This alien dance troupe emerged from a giant cardboard box wearing spooky identical rubber masks in 2018 for a performance that was literally out of this world.
According to Amanda Holden, the freaky five-strong robotic group, wearing zip-up latex suits, resembled Freddy Krueger from A Nightmare on Elm Street.
Clearly a polished act, their routines, including a giant worm chain, impressed the judges, while giving them the heebie-jeebies. Embracing their silent alien persons, they answered the judges’ questions with hand gestures only.
Simon stirred things up at the end of the performance by suggesting they go and kiss presenters Ant and Dec on their way off stage. The pair were chased off stage and dragged in front of the judges where they were each kissed. After the assault Ant looked at the camera and commented: “I had garlic bread for lunch so the joke’s on them!”
Amid speculation about the troupe’s real identities, it emerged that the dancers had won the Belgian version of BGT a couple of years earlier, causing some controversy, but it was established that they hadn’t broken any rules and they made it to the semi- finals.
There’s always something a bit creepy about a contortionist, but Papi Flex’s 2020 act was on another level. Alarmingly double jointed, the 26-year-old emerged from a box at the back of the stage to an eerie soundtrack like something out of a horror movie.
With limbs bent unfeasibly out of place, face and upper body painted like a skull and skeleton, and wild staring eyes, the judges couldn’t disguise their instant revulsion at the freaky poses Papi achieved, while being overwhelmed by both his flexibility and mesmerising stage presence. David Walliams even jumped out of his seat and hid behind Alesha Dixon. It was a case of you couldn’t bear to look, but something made you anyway.
Who knew the incredible things you could do with a teaset until Mr Uekusa came on BGT in 2018 to bare all?
The 30-year-old “international variety performer” from Japan immediately stripped to underpants and a Union Jack bowtie before proceeding to perform some weird and wonderful stunts involving a glass of wine, plungers, cups and saucers and a popping champagne cork.
Speaking through an interpreter, his only description of what he did was that he “made people very happy”. His act got stranger and ever more risque as he romped through the 2018 competition to the semi-finals, when he was eventually buzzed off by Amanda.
This determined 64-year-old from Devon had an unsuccessful audition for series 10, but had everyone in stitches in 2019 when he invited David and Amanda to be his living ventriloquist dummies on stage.
Kitting them out in weird oversized facial masks, he literally put words in their mouths. David was the chief victim of this unique and strangely disturbing act. Jimmy asked him about his hobbies and put through his paces, first skipping like a child, then pirouetting as a ballet dancer before performing a striptease, dropping his trousers and staggering down the steps to lie on the judge’s table in front of a cringing Simon.
Everybody loved his act but things didn’t go quite as well in the semi-finals when Jimmy’s sketch involved David acting as a ventriloquist and Simon as the “snuggly” dummy. Things went awry when Simon stormed off stage after being asked to perform the can-can; it later became clear that Simon was still recovering from a skiing injury.
Comedian Robert White, 41, made a point of flagging up his own quirkiness when he strode on stage in tank top, too short tartan trousers and bright green boots in 2018.
Declaring himself to be gay and to have both Asperger’s syndrome and dyslexia, the music teacher explored the funny side of himself. He got started by saying how he’d mis-read “Rhanna” as “RyanAir” before joking about the judges’ online profiles and a hilarious song about singing cleaning windows.
He made it through to the final where he declared that for those who didn’t know the meaning of Asperger’s, it basically meant he was better than them. He then performed an original song about coming out as gay to his mother and accidentally meeting his father on a Grindr date. Ultimately he was runner-up to Lost Voice Guy.
You can’t talk about quirky Britain’s Got Talent acts without mentioning the amazing Susan Boyle who was immediately clocked as a rather eccentric contestant, but won everyone over with her incredible singing voice.
Her 2009 audition has gone down in BGT history after the frumpy, unemployed 47-year-old Susan first stomped on stage with her massive eyebrows, mop of wild graying hair, and makeup-free face. But she had soon shocked everyone – including herself, it seemed – with her angelic rendition of I Dreamed a Dream.
Britain’s Got Talent continues on Saturdays at 8pm on ITV.
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