Across the world, there are hosts of people who possess incredible talents when it comes to acting, singing or dancing. But the most successful tend to be those who can stand out from the crowd. In recent years, then, television shows such as Britain’s Got Talent have provided the perfect platforms for individuals to showcase their often unexpected abilities. And in April 2019 ten-year-old Giorgia Borg’s audition for the talent competition certainly left viewers stunned.
Since 2007 Britain’s Got Talent has invited members of the public to share their talents with audiences of millions. Also watched by a panel of four famous faces, each act must earn a majority vote during the audition in order to book their slot in the live shows. In some cases, though, a Golden Buzzer from a single judge is enough to make it through.
Then, at the end of the season, the very best auditionees compete in a live final, where they vie for two life-changing prizes. You see, not only does the eventual winner take home around $320,000, but they also earn a spot in the Royal Variety Performance. And there, the victor will have the privilege of showcasing their skills in front of none other than the British royal family.
Over the years, several memorable acts have made their way into the public eye thanks to Britain’s Got Talent. From the likes of dance troupe Diversity, singing sensation Susan Boyle and 2018’s winner, Lost Voice Guy, the show continues to uncover totally unexpected gems. And another surprising contender made her presence known in April 2019 in the form of ten-year-old Giorgia Borg.
Back in June 2007 the first season of Britain’s Got Talent aired on the ITV channel. And at that time, the trio of Simon Cowell, Piers Morgan and Amanda Holden made up the panel of judges. In addition, comedy duo Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – better known as Ant & Dec – took the roles of presenters.
Since the first series, there have been some minor changes to the judging lineup, with the likes of David Hasselhoff and Carmen Electra trying their hands at the role. In 2012, however, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon became seemingly permanent fixtures behind the Britain’s Got Talent desk. And now they complete the famous panel alongside Cowell and Holden.
Having entered the world in October 1959, Cowell grew up in Hertfordshire, England, with his parents, Julie and Eric. While the former enjoyed life as a dancer and socialite, the latter plied his trade in a number of different areas. These included property development and the music industry.
Following a stint at Dover College boarding school, Cowell left education as a teenager and took on a number of jobs. But eventually, the future television personality scored a position at British music label EMI Music Publishing. Cowell had his dad to thank for setting up the job, which saw him working in the company’s mailroom.
However, Cowell would rise up the ranks in the next few years, becoming an assistant and a talent scout. Then, at the turn of the 1980s, he made a bold decision. Alongside his EMI superior Ellis Rich, the aspiring music mogul started his own record label: E&S Music.
Cowell enjoyed some brief success with E&S Music before leaving the company in 1983. Some two years later, however, he kick-started another music label, which was called Fanfare Records. And it was a move that appeared to pay off in 1986, when the future TV star celebrated his first real hit.
Yes, Sinitta’s single “So Macho” reached number two in the British music charts at that time. But unfortunately for Cowell, the success was relatively short-lived, and Fanfare Records closed its doors in 1989. Then, on the verge of bankruptcy, he moved back into his parents’ home and landed a gig at BMG Records as a consultant.
Despite all of these setbacks, however, Cowell’s success was far from over. The music mogul worked his way up the ranks at BMG, and thanks to him, the label recruited artists such as Westlife, Robson & Jerome and Five, selling millions of records. As a result, Cowell became an established name in the industry.
However, Cowell’s life changed drastically in 2001 when he ventured into television. He was named one of the judges on ITV’s talent show Pop Idol before taking on a similar role on American Idol the following year. But while the programs proved a big success, the industry expert was arguably the breakout star.
Yes, Cowell’s frank criticism of the hopefuls on these shows earned him a reputation as TV’s Mr. Nasty – and the toughest judge to impress. Meanwhile, he started another company, Syco, leading to the creation of enormously popular show The X Factor. But this wasn’t all, mind you.
In 2006 Syco spawned the Got Talent franchise, with America’s Got Talent hitting the small screen that June. The next year, Britain’s Got Talent aired for the first time on the ITV channel. And Cowell became one of the latter’s ever-present judges alongside British actress Amanda Holden.
Holden entered the world in February 1971 before growing up in Bishop’s Waltham – a small town located in Hampshire, England. From a young age, she had aspirations of becoming an actress, attending her local theater group. And as a result of her growing passion, she earned a place at drama school during her teenage years.
Holden made her television debut in 1993, having earned a brief role in the crime series In Suspicious Circumstances. The following year, the actress won a place on the cast of British soap opera Eastenders. Taking on a character named Carmen, she appeared in five episodes of the drama.
Some two years later, Holden made her silver-screen debut in the 1996 comedy drama Intimate Relations, which starred the likes of Rupert Graves and Julie Walters. After this, she returned to TV in 1997, appearing in shows such as The Bill, Thief Takers and We Know Where You Live.
Holden went on to establish herself on the small screen over the next few years, featuring in a number of different projects. One of her more memorable roles came along in 2006 with the drama Wild at Heart. As Sarah Trevanian, Holden appeared in three seasons and more than 20 episodes of the show before leaving after two years.
By this point, however, Holden was already on Britain’s Got Talent – a gig that she’s now held for over a decade. But while she and Cowell quickly established themselves on the show, it wasn’t until 2012 that the judges’ panel would receive its next pair of permanent fixtures. Comedian David Walliams arrived first, replacing his namesake David Hasselhoff.
Walliams made his small-screen debut back in 1994, lending his voice to the kids’ show Incredible Games. He slowly established himself in the world of television, appearing in several different projects throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, the actor’s big break came in 2003.
Yes, alongside Matt Lucas, Walliams starred in the hugely successful sketch show Little Britain. Taking on a whole host of characters, he featured throughout the program’s three season run. After this, the comedic performer continued to appear in a variety of films and shows ahead of joining Britain’s Got Talent.
But what about the final spot on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel? Well, singer Alesha Dixon joined Cowell, Holden and Walliams in 2012. Dixon had formed part of girl group Mis-Teeq in the early 2000s before embarking on a solo venture in 2005. However, the musician made a name for herself in the TV industry in 2007, when she was victorious on Strictly Come Dancing.
After winning Strictly Come Dancing, Dixon joined the judging panel on the show in 2009. It was a position that she held for the next three years before being recruited by Britain’s Got Talent. And since then, the artist has formed excellent chemistry with Cowell, Holden and Walliams and has witnessed some truly stunning auditions, too. It’s fair to say that some performers, however, have been more memorable than others.
Take, for instance, the young girl who took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage in April 2019. Her name is Giorgia Borg, she’s ten years old, and she hails from the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta. In the audition, after introducing herself to Cowell, Holden, Walliams and Dixon, the youngster reveals that she’ll be singing an original song entitled “Ten.”
Curious, Holden asks for some more details about the song. “It’s about, like, how some adults don’t hear what their kids say,” Borg says in response. “So, [they] just leave them hanging around, whatever…[They] don’t care!” At this point, the young girl clarifies that her parents – who are standing backstage alongside presenters Ant & Dec – aren’t like that at all.
With a smile, Holden wishes Borg well ahead of her performance, indicating that it’s go time for the young singer. And what happens next leaves the judges and audience stunned. Seemingly to everyone’s surprise, the small girl opens her mouth to reveal a hugely powerful voice. And as she hits a number of high notes perfectly, the camera cuts to the dumbstruck panel.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, when Borg’s performance comes to a close, she’s greeted by a standing ovation. “That’s how you do it!” Dixon shouts above the applause. And as the audience members slowly return to their seats, Cowell offers his opinion on the song. It seems that the ten-year-old’s poignant lyrics have really resonated with the music mogul.
Cowell says, “I just knew when I woke up this morning this was going to be a great day; I could feel it.” Then, he adds, “I have a son who’s five, and trust me, I listen to him. It’s not the other way around. I learn a lot more from him than other people. So, I get it, and it was amazing.”
Next up, Walliams shares his thoughts on Borg’s performance. “I cannot believe [that] you are ten years old!” he says. “I was barely out of nappies when I was ten years old!” However, before the comedian can continue, Dixon stands up and makes a totally unexpected move. That’s right: she slams her fist down on the Golden Buzzer, immediately guaranteeing Borg a place in the semi-finals.
As gold confetti falls from the rafters, Dixon joins the shell-shocked Borg on stage to give her a big hug. The ten-year-old’s parents appear soon afterwards, with both of them unable to contain their emotions. And a few moments later, Dixon returns to the desk to reveal just why she pushed the Golden Buzzer.
“It takes a lot to really, really move me,” Dixon tells Borg. “And you floored me – like, absolutely floored me! Your vocal capability, your lyrical capability. You are ten years old. This is unbelievable! You are a star.” Plus, Dixon explains that it wasn’t just Borg’s voice that blew her away. “You have the best personality as well,” the judge says. “I love everything about you. Congratulations.”
The audition wraps up at this point, and Borg leaves the stage to another standing ovation. Cowell, meanwhile, is seemingly still in shock. “I thought she was amazing,” he tells his fellow judges. “I mean, like, really good.” Dixon agrees, adding, “The whole time I was like that!” And the musician points to her open mouth to illustrate that Borg’s performance was jaw-dropping.
As it turns out, however, Borg was no stranger to the spotlight when she appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. In fact, as explained on the youngster’s Facebook page, she’d already participated in a number of other events across Europe. And the singer had also received some notable training back in Malta, too.
“Giorgia joined La Voix School Of Performing Arts of Gillian Attard in 2013,” reads a post on the About page of Borg’s Facebook account. “She is coached by Gillian herself. Since joining the school, Giorgia has participated in various local festivals and always managed to get a very good placing.”
In addition, the post listed off some of Borg’s accomplishments in the last few years. “She participated in various local events such as the International Food Festival in 2014,” the Facebook page reads. “In early 2015, Giorgia auditioned for Sky Italia’s Una Stella Sta Nascendo and was chosen to be on the program.”
The social media post added, “[Borg] worked her way up to the finals, which took place on June 28th at Caltanissetta, Sicily. Giorgia was triumphant and won her section as well as the Best Junior Talent award.” Plus, the message also revealed some of the young girl’s other accolades, including prizes from Sweden and Finland.
Borg’s Facebook page now boasts over 5,000 likes and more than 5,300 followers, and her performance has seemingly struck a chord with viewers. Indeed, the official Britain’s Got Talent YouTube channel posted Borg’s audition in April 2019, and the video has since garnered over 10 million views and over 150,000 likes.
Meanwhile, the show’s official Twitter account shared the news on social media too, posting a short clip from the aftermath of Borg’s audition. “GOLDEN BUZZER MOMENT,” read the accompanying message in the tweet. “Alesha Dixon’s Golden Buzzer sends ten-year-old Giorgia and her mind-blowing voice straight to the semi-finals!”
This congratulatory tweet earned over 1,200 likes and more than 170 retweets on the social media website. And it generated a number of comments, too, most of which were very positive. As for Borg, unfortunately, her powerhouse vocals weren’t enough to get her through to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent. But she’s still the youngest contestant ever to get a Golden Buzzer!