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Bgt Dog Act 2015 Essay

Series Nine ofBritain's Got Talent, a British talent competition series, began broadcasting in the UK during 2015, from 11 April to 31 May on ITV. The series saw the "Wildcard" format introduced in the sixth series being modified in this series to include a "Public Wildcard" – like the "Judges' Wildcard" any act eliminated in the semi-finals, primarily those that lost out in the Judges' vote, could be reinstated by the public, based on the one that received the most votes from them before the final. Although speculations and rumours began to emerge after the previous series ended, claiming that some of the judges would be leaving before the ninth series,[1][2] these were later dismissed as being unfounded by ITV, on 16 January 2015.[3]

The ninth series was won by dog tricks duo Jules O'Dwyer & Matisse, with magician Jamie Raven finishing in second place and Welsh choir Côr Glanaethwy in third place. Following the series' broadcast, viewers complained about being misled by winner O'Dwyer's performance, after it was found that their act involved a second dog that had not been disclosed to the public or the judges.[4] During its broadcast, the series averaged around 9.9 million viewers.

Series Overview[edit]

Following open auditions held the previous year between October to December,[5] the Judges' auditions took place between January and February 2015, within Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and London.[6] Unlike previous years, where a guest judge had to stand-in for another, no issues occurred that caused a member of the judging panel to be absent, while the auditions were held in a more standard manner for this year, though with the "Golden Buzzer" format remaining a part of them since its introduction to the show in the previous series.

Of the participants that took part, forty-five made it past this stage and into the five live semi-finals – of these acts, dance troupe Boyband, singer Calum Scott, choir Revelation Avenue, dance act Entity Allstars, and comedy singer Lorraine Bowen, each received a golden buzzer during their auditions – with nine appearing in each one. In a minor change to the show's "Wildcard act" format, the series saw the introduction of the "Public Wildcard". Like the "Judges' wildcard", if a semi-finalist was eliminated in their semi-final at the Judges' vote, they became eligible to be picked as a wildcard act by the public, who would vote on which one they would like to reinstate into the final once all the semi-finals had been aired, with their choice being the one to have received the most votes by the time the final was due to be aired. While the Public Wildcard was extreme martial artist Jesse-Jane McParland, who lost out in the tied Judges' vote in the final semi-final, the Judges' Wildcard for this series was dance troupe Boyband, who lost the Judges' vote in the fourth semi-final. As a result, it led to a total of twelve acts taking part in the series' final.

The following below lists the results of each participant's overall performance in this series:

  Winner |   Runner-up |   Third place
  Finalist |   Semi-finalist (lost judges' vote) |   Semi-finalist (eliminated)
Judges' wildcard (previously eliminated act reinstated into the final by the judges)
Public wildcard (previously eliminated act reinstated into the final by the public)
Golden buzzer

Semi-finals summary[edit]

Buzzed out
Judges' vote
  Won the public vote |   Won the judges' vote; won by public vote in the event of a tie
  Lost the judges' vote; lost by public vote in the event of a tie |   Eliminated

Semi-final 1 (25 May)[edit]

Semi-final 2 (26 May)[edit]

Semi-final 3 (27 May)[edit]

Semi-final 4 (28 May)[edit]

  • ^1 Boyband were later sent through to the final as the judges wildcard.

Semi-final 5 (29 May)[edit]

  • ^2 Jesse-Jane McParland was later sent through to the final as the public's wildcard.

Final (31 May)[edit]

Main article: List of Britain's Got Talent finalists (series 9)

  Winner |   Runner-up |   3rd place

Final results


Main article: List of Britain's Got Talent episodes

EpisodeDateTotal viewers (millions)[8][9]Weekly rank[8]Share (%)
Auditions 111 April11.25143.2[10]
Auditions 218 April11.47144.1[11]
Auditions 325 April11.87146.3[12]
Auditions 42 May11.73145.0[13]
Auditions 59 May11.64145.1[14]
Auditions 616 May11.55147.0[15]
Auditions 723 May9.35135.2[16]
Semi-final 125 May10.18337.8[17]
Semi-final 1 results7.741528.7[17]
Semi-final 226 May9.341036.8[18]
Semi-final 2 results7.601631.1[18]
Semi-final 327 May9.48638.8[19]
Semi-final 3 results8.091331.7[19]
Semi-final 428 May9.261137.2[20]
Semi-final 4 results7.871234.5[20]
Semi-final 529 May9.51839.2[21]
Semi-final 5 results7.911432.1[21]
Live final31 May12.75146.6[22]

Criticism & Controversies[edit]

Dresses of Holden & Dixon[edit]

While the live episodes of the ninth series were being broadcast, Ofcom found itself receiving around 200 complaints from viewers following one episode, in regards to the clothing that Amanda Holden and Alesha Dixon had worn when judging the episode's participants. Criticism was primarily aimed towards the pair wearing low-cut dresses that were claimed to not conform to guidelines on suitable clothing before the 9pm watershed.[23][24][25] After a month-long investigation into the matter, the regulator ruled that it had found no evidence to show that Holden and Dixon had not dressed inappropriately or that both had been portrayed in an unsuitable manner on the episode, and dismissed the complaints.[26]

Animal cruelty claims[edit]

Amongst the participants that took part in the ninth series was ventriloquist Marc Métral, who auditioned for the show by performing comedic ventriloquism through his dog "Miss Wendy". Métral's act involves the use of a specially designed "ventriloquist mask" – a special device used by ventriloquists on human volunteers – which is attached to over the jaw of his dog and then operated by a remote control to move when the dog "speaks". The act was not the first time that such a form of ventriloquism was used; such a performance had been previously used by a participant for the seventh series of America's Got Talent in 2012. However, after Métral's audition was aired, several animal rights groups made complaints to ITV and Ofcom over the belief that the dog was being mistreated, while adding that they had concerns over the dog's welfare after they had felt it seemed to "tremble" on stage. The RSPCA, which had similar concerns, launched an investigation into the act to determine if the dog suffered any cruelty from its owner in the performance, particularly because of the mask it wore, but later felt satisfied that the dog's well-being and treatment on the show was very adequate after being invited by Simon Cowell to oversee her in rehearsals with her owner. Cowell later went onto Twitter to alleviate any further concerns over Métral's act:[27][28]

"I thought a lot about the dog act on our show tonight. It's no secret I love animals. I believe if you can show that animals have personalities, more people will hopefully respect them and show compassion. We asked the RSPCA to see Wendy in rehearsals and I was told she was happy and looked after well. As animal lovers I will always listen to your views. I would never allow any animal to be treated in a cruel way. But care that you care. My last thought is cruelty to animals beyond belief has been bought to my attention. If you care your concern can do much more good."

In a similar response to the concerns, Métral defended his performance:[27]

"She [Miss Wendy] loves performing and I would never put her in a situation that would cause her distress. She gets excited when we go to work and is always comfortable on stage."

Misleading dog act[edit]

Throughout the course of the series, viewers had been made aware that dog trainer Jules O'Dwyer was involved in training multiple dogs, as well as using several in her semi-final performance, including two dogs that were of the same breed and had similar appearances – Matisse and Chase. But her performance in the final was dogged by complaints from viewers against the programme for being misleading, as viewers had believed that O'Dwyer had used only Matisse for each routine of the act, with the exception of the climax, which involved an additional dog. Only the production team had been aware of the full details of her performance – while Matisse was used for most of the routines, the dog couldn't perform a tightrope section that was part of the final act, thus when it had gone backstage behind the set piece on the stage, it was switched for Chase who performed the trick before going backstage again to be switched back to Matisse for the rest of the performance. When this came to light during an interview with O'Dwyer the morning after the live final, viewers sent numerous complaints that they had been completely misled and tricked by what they had seen on the programme.[29][30]Simon Cowell, who had been completely unaware of the switch, launched an investigation into the matter,[31][32] but could find no evidence that put O'Dwyer at fault for the controversial situation, and thus no formal action was taken against the trainer.[33] However, the show's producers were later forced to apologise for the confusion caused, stating that this detail in her final performance should have been "made clearer".[34][35]

Viewers continued to complain about the performance, which prompted Ofcom to launch an official investigation after it received over 1,000 complaints. Its findings, released on 17 August 2015, found that while ITV had not intended to deceive viewers over what they had seen, it had been responsible for allowing Britain's Got Talent to mislead them, and thus ruled that the broadcaster had breached its guidelines and rules in regards to ensuring that viewers are not misled and that facts presented on television are accurately presented on a television/radio programme.[36][37][38][39]


  1. ^Adams, Sam (8 June 2014). "Simon Cowell 'to quit as judge' on Britain's Got Talent". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  2. ^"David Walliams leaves fans confused over the future of Britain's Got Talent". Hello. 8 June 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  3. ^"Britain's Got Talent – the Judges are back". ITV. 16 January 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  4. ^"Dog-swapping BGT winner accused of duping viewers refuses to apologise, vows to keep her prize money and says she and Matisse will still perform for the Royals". Daily Mail. 18 August 2015. Retrieved 7 October 2015. 
  5. ^Alexander, Susannah (1 October 2014). "Britain's Got Talent announces open auditions for 2015 series". Digital Spy. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  6. ^"Where are the Judges Auditions for BGT 2015?". ITV. 15 September 2014. Archived from the original on 17 November 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2015. 
  7. ^ abcdef"BGT 2015: the votes revealed". ITV. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 1 June 2015. 
  8. ^ ab"Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  9. ^"Weekly Top 10 Programmes". Broadcasters' Audience Research Board. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  10. ^Lee, Ben (12 April 2015). "Britain's Got Talent returns to ITV with 9.5 million viewers". Digital Spy. Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  11. ^Lee, Ben (19 April 2015). "Britain's Got Talent continues with 9.5 million viewers on ITV". Digital Spy. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  12. ^Lee, Ben (26 April 2015). "Britain's Got Talent rises to nearly 10 million viewers on ITV". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  13. ^Lee, Ben (3 May 2015). "Britain's Got Talent dominates Saturday night with 9.6 million on ITV". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  14. ^Lee, Ben (10 May 2015). "Britain's Got Talent continues with 9.6 million viewers on ITV". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  15. ^Lee, Ben (17 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Atlantis finale averages 2.5 million viewers on BBC One". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
  16. ^Lee, Ben (24 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Eurovision 2015 averages 6.6 million on BBC One". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 
  17. ^ abRigby, Sam (26 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent semi-finals kick off with 8.6m on Monday". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  18. ^ abRigby, Sam (27 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent continues to dominate with 7.8m for ITV". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  19. ^ abRigby, Sam (28 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent rises to 8.2m with third semi-final". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  20. ^ abRigby, Sam (29 May 2015). "UK TV ratings: Britain's Got Talent wows 7.8m on Thursday for ITV". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

The dog that won Britain's Got Talent last night was replaced by a look-alike stunt double for the highlight of his daring performance, it has been revealed.

In a shock revelation, Matisse was replaced for the show-stopping tight-rope trick by another dog, which was not mentioned on the show.

His owner Jules O'Dwyer, 49, revealed today that Matisse was unable to pull off the daring stunt because he is 'afraid of heights' and was replaced by another dog, called Chase.

Ofcom are considering an official investigation after voters complained that they had been 'misled' by the show. 

Scroll down for video 

Shock: Matisse the dog was replaced by another dog, called Chase, for the tight-rope trick on Britain's Got Talent last night

Jules revealed today that Matisse (centre dog) was unable to do the daring stunt because he is 'afraid of heights', and was replaced by Chase (right)

Matisse (right) was also joined by three-legged dog Skippy (left) for the emotional performance last night

Jules and Matisse won the nation's hearts with their performance which was rounded off by what appeared to be Matisse taking on the high rope.

But their victory was mired in controversy today as Jules revealed on ITV's Lorraine that Chase performed during the finale.

She said: 'Matisse is a little bit afraid of heights so although he could officially do it, Chase is the action dog, so he plays the double for him.'

The act won over the judges and stunned more than 13million viewers on Sunday night to scoop the £250,000 prize money and a chance to star in the Royal Variety performance. 

Jules and Matisse narrowly beat favourites choir Cor Glanaethwaym, securing 22.6 per cent of the 4.5million votes cast and pipping runner-up magician Jamie Raven by just 2.2 per cent of the vote.

Furious viewers vented their anger on Twitter after discovering Matisse had been replaced by a stunt dog. The switch occurred after Matisse disappeared behind a door, before he later returned to complete the routine.

Fiona Fairbairn wrote: 'So it turns out the dog on the tightrope was a double for Matisse on #BGT?! Basically conning the public!!! Shameful!' 

Carrie Rose tweeted: 'So just found out that Jules and Matisse was fake!! it was a stunt dog who did the tight ropes!!' 

Rachel Louise wrote: 'How can BGT allow a stunt double for the dog and try to hide it, shouldn't be allowed to be the winner!' 

Vicky Simpson said: 'Matisse had a stunt double the viewers didn't know about when they voted last night. BGT tricked viewers and are wrong not to inform them.'

Together: Chase, Matisse and Skippy (left to right) pose with Jules before their chat with Lorraine this morning

 Controversy: Furious viewers took to Twitter after discovering Matisse had been swapped for a fellow dog

Maria Fowler wrote: 'Very misleading that Matisse didn't do the tight rope trick on BGT and apparently was a stunt double.'

Niamh Skinner said: 'I've just been informed that Matisse had a stunt double doing the tightrope walk. Absolutely fuming. I voted for that dog!!!!'

Andrea Foreman wrote: 'I think they should step down and give it to the magic man.'

Speaking to MailOnline following the public backlash over her revelation, Jules said: 'It was never the intention to mislead people. Chase was the more advanced at that trick - it fitted into our story so we decided to put it in.

'I chose to split the act up so as not to overwork my dogs.'

Asked why Chase hadn't been revealed to viewers at the end of the routine, she added: 'It was a live show and technically not possible to get the second dog around the set and out on to the stage in time.

'I'm not there to pull my dogs from pillar to post.' 

I was disappointed when people said I allegedly hid Chase and I was trying to make it like Chase was Matisse. That's not so

Jules added: 'I was disappointed when people said I allegedly hid Chase and I was trying to make it like Chase was Matisse. That's not so.

'I introduced Chase in the semi-final, and I said Chase is Matisse's best mate. Chase does the trick very well, Matisse prefers it lower but he's never been at that height.

'I have a choice: I have a dog that can do it at that height, or I have a dog I'd have to push in three days to achieve this.

'Why put the pressure on the dog, when I already have another dog who can perform it on television?'

Jules and Matisse were the final act of the night, choosing a cops and robbers theme for their last performance, which ended with another dog, three-legged Skippy, coming on stage for an emotional ending to the story set to the tune of Lily Allen's Somewhere Only We Know. 

She said: 'I know my dogs, and I know what they are comfortable with. I'm not hiding anything. Skippy was a secret - I wanted to keep him a secret because that was the emotional factor and we hadn't introduced him before.' 

Jules also revealed that Matisse is enjoying the spotlight since they triumphed in the ITV show.

'We can't walk anywhere without the dog seeing somebody and sitting by him, [almost to say], "Selfie?",' she said. 'But the dogs' welfare comes first. I won't let them be mobbed by 100 kids on one street. We do protect them, it's got to be realistic.'

The performance reduced judges David Walliams and Amanda Holden to tears, with the latter gushing: 'Honestly it was just one of the most wonderful story, I'm crying my eyes out it's pathetic. You've knocked it out the park.'

Simon Cowell added: 'It is your love for that dog which really really shows, maybe we just saved the best until last.' 

Winners! Jules and Matisse stormed their way to Britain's Got Talent victory, winning a chance to star at the Royal Variety Performance

Nervous wait: Magician Jamie Raven and Jules and Matisse had a long wait as Ant and Dec announced the winners

Speaking earlier today, Jules said: 'The tightrope takes months of training. It takes a special rigging system. It takes professionals to help you.

'BGT were fabulous. Our team said what we needed to pull this off.

Jules, who has not slept since her win, said of her dogs: 'They're really chilled. They're very balanced and very happy.

'My only concerns are always my dogs. Are they happy? Are they content with working? It's a circus for a dog ... I was just focused on the dogs until the routine was done, then I relaxed.

'For them it's just a series of one or two different actions that you build on slowly.' 

Ofcom are assessing whether they will launch an investigation into the show after 14 people complained about the dog switch. 

The watchdog's code states: 'Broadcasters must ensure that viewers and listeners are not materially misled about any broadcast competition or voting.' 

Meanwhile Britain's Got Talent viewers claimed to have rumbled runner-up magician Jamie Raven's lemon trick which stunned the judges at last night's final.

The magician, who came second to Jules and Matisse, wowed judge Alesha Dixon with the trick, which saw him pull a banknote out of the fruit.

But some eagle-eyed fans were left with a bitter taste in their mouth after seeing through the illusion and spotting how Jamie pulled off the trick.  

Illusion: Magician Jamie Raven stunned the judges with his trick involving a lemon in the Britain's Got Talent final, but viewers appeared to work out how he did it

Magic: Judge Alesha Dixon signed a banknote, which the magician later conjured from inside this lemon 

The studio audience were amazed by the trick, as were the judges as Alesha pulled the note out of the lemon

Caught out: Viewers took to Twitter to say they spotted a hole in the lemon, suggesting the magician may have pushed the note through it

The trick started by Jamie giving Alesha a mysterious black box with a golden ribbon tied around it.

He instructed her to sign a Britain's Got Talent banknote before blowing on it, which 'magically' turned it into a note telling the judge to open the box.

Alesha opened it up to find a second, smaller box, which she opened to reveal a red bag, in which there was a lemon.

The illusion's climax came as Jamie cut into the lemon, revealing the judge's original signed banknote.

The studio audience were amazed by the trick, as were the judges, with Alesha saying: 'Shut the front door. You've got to be kidding me.'

Even Simon Cowell admitted to being fooled by the trick, but some viewers were less than impressed as they immediately spotted a glaring hole - quite literally - in the illusion.

Several people watching the ITV show immediately tweeted that they had seen a hole in the lemon, revealing how Jamie may have pushed the note through the pre-prepared fruit.

Victoria Morris wrote: 'Am I the only one who saw Jamie Ravens hand at the bottom on the lemon when the note came out...there was a big hole through the lemon'.

Jess Lewis tweeted: 'If cutting a hole in a lemon then putting note in it is magic, I'm a magician as well'. 

Even Simon Cowell admitted to being fooled by the illusion, but some viewers were less than impressed

Viewers were quick to complain that they had worked out how Jamie, who finished second, had pulled off the trick

Other viewers defended the magician, who lost out by two per cent of the vote to talented dog and owner duo Jules and Matisse

Meanwhile Shelley L said: 'A dog acted out an entire script and yet people are mad cause he beat a man who shoved paper into a lemon with a hole cut through it.'

Another user added: 'That magician got caught out, his semi final was rubbish and his final, you could see the hole in the bottom of the lemon LOL'.

But other viewers defended the magician, who lost out by two per cent of the vote to Jules and Matisse.

Hannah Riding tweeted: 'Can't believe people are moaning about there being a hole in the lemon; it's an illusion! If you think magic is real go to Hogwarts #BGT'. 

Despite being tweeted by dozens of people who caught him out, Jamie seemed upbeat about finishing as runner-up in the talent show. 

He tweeted this morning: 'I just found out that I lost by 2% of the votes, thank u everyone again for everything. my friend said it was "a paw decision".' 

A spokesman for the producers of Britain's Got Talent said: 'The audience had previously seen from Jules's semi-final routine that she works with a second dog Chase alongside Matisse. For the final performance, as Jules has said publicly herself, Chase completed the tight-rope walking section of the act.

'During the competition viewers have seen that Jules's act involves a team of dogs, including Chase and Skippy, alongside starring dog Matisse, to perform her unique mixture of dog agility and story-telling. We are sorry if this was not made clearer to the judges and viewers at home during their final performance.'

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