Last Saturday we brought you the first part of Karen Kidman‘s account of her audition for Britain’s Got Talent. As we settle down to watch tonight’s live final, she tells us what happened next.
One night in mid-January the phone rang and Coralie answered. She soon appeared to be trying to hold back hysterical laughter whilst having a conversation with whoever was on the other end of the line, and eventually she managed to tell me that the BGT team wanted to put us through to the televised auditions. I responded by telling her it was most likely a(nother) practical joke from one of her friends. Then she received the confirmation email. We had an audition slot in Cardiff in two weeks’ time. I said “No”. I was bullied. We went.
We left the house with a car full of supporters at around 5am, and headed to the Cardiff Millenium Centre. I decided not to drive in full costume.
We had been told to be ready to register at 1pm for the 5pm show. We arrived in plenty of time and went to get ready. We then lined up to register, which took an hour because it is filmed, and they kept asking us to do it again. An earlier batch of acts had been due to film at 2pm, but we were told that Simon Cowell had not yet arrived (apparently they had all been at the TV awards the night before and had won an award, so rumours among backstage staff were that they were all a little worse for wear). Simon eventually arrived just over two hours late so all auditions were pushed back and it was around this time that we were told we were to be the second from last act to perform. (No pressure.)
For the next few hours we spent a lot of time waiting, sitting, chatting to other acts and their families and friends, and occasionally being taken off for various interviews and filming. Once acts had performed they didn’t return to the holding areas, so our numbers depleted gradually and we didn’t get to find out the fate of many of our peers.
At around 10pm we were finally called; our family and friends were taken off to the auditorium (they try and ensure your supporters get into the audience to see your act) and we were rushed backstage. All of a sudden we were alert again and feeling nervous – not concerned with our fate, but at the thought of doing our ridiculous performance in front of 1800 people including Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams. Not just that, but our humiliation was to be recorded and potentially played in front of millions. This was the moment that I realised I had never been on a professional stage before in my entire life – and the moment that Coralie had a nose bleed. We were sitting (in shot) on one of the flight cases they position backstage, listening to the act two ahead of us when I heard her utter the words “oh, that’s not good” and when I turned to look at her she was bleeding profusely. The medic was called and the bleeding was stopped, so we quickly washed off the blood, signed the accident form and returned to discover we were next on.
Hastily ridding ourselves of bloody tissues we approached the wings and were met by Dec, who stroked our furry legs and signalled for us to enter the stage.
The stage was big, the auditorium was massive, the lights were bright, I felt bizarre. In front of me were four real people whom I had never met before, but instantly recognised. Simon looked fed up. We had the usual questions asked, my highlight being the audience responding with a gasp when I gave my age (I adopted an unlikely downhill skiing manoeuvre when responding, which I can only imagine was due to nerves). Simon’s last question to us was what well-known performers were we most like. I told him there was nothing already like us and he seemed unconvinced.
That was it, we then just had to give the thumbs up and go for it. And go for it we did. The audience were with us, laughing and clapping along, it was fun – but the first buzzer went within about 20 seconds (it was really loud) and was quite closely followed by the other three.
David: “I think I hated it the least”
Alesha: “Are you serious?!”
Amanda: “Cold winter evenings must fly by in your house” (We confirmed that yes, they did.)
Simon: “You’re right, there is nothing else like you on the circuit. You are just MAD!” (We thanked him.) He then told us to bounce back to Norfolk.
Our supporters informed us that once we had left the stage Simon turned to the audience and said “Welcome to our new show, Britain’s Got Some Serious Issues”
Thankfully no more than a few seconds of one of our interviews was ever shown on TV, which I can only assume means that we just weren’t quite terrible enough.
Coralie was right, it was an experience that we will never forget and I am glad we saw it through. We proved we are definitely not talented, but we also proved that the show is a game, and if you want to play, be sure that you know what winning is. Coralie and I won: we got an experience, we shared our silliness and our love for each other and we discovered ridiculous levels of support from people who know us by entertaining them with one of our adventures.
Karen Kidman lives in Norfolk with a variety of humans and animals.