Curse yo I'm hop to Britau Simon Cowell, elessly addicted in's Got Talent
I swore I wouldn't do it ... I fought so hard, but the lure of the carnie folk, performing dogs and disadvantaged artistically blessed children was just too much. Three weeks ago I crumbled, and for the past few days I've been totally hooked on Britain's Got Talent.
Why is it that I am helpless when in the face of anything Cowell-produced?
I thought once he -- Simon -- left the judging panel, the show would fall apart, but it hasn't been so. In fact, the unadulterated cheesefest of judges -- Michael McIntyre, Amanda Holden and The Hoff have such an appreciation for the absurd and the ridiculous, they have let a record number of madcap novelty acts through to the later rounds.
This week, I've found myself getting so hooked on BGT, that when I had to work late on Thursday night, I did so wearing headphones, and with TV3 live streaming on my computer.
I've been so charmed by so many of the finalists that I've even taken to swotting up on them via YouTube; especially Tuesday's grinning, waving, winking 59-year-old organ teacher Jean Martyn, whom you can't help bouncing along in your chair to.
And on Wednesday night, there was Gay and Alan, the gothic hand bell ringers, and the Thai lady(boy?) whose act comprised of lip-synching songs while changing in and out of bikinis. And Thursday night brought back Nathan Wyburn, who makes pictures out of pieces of toast, and my favourites -- Out Of The Blue, the singing, upper crust college boys. It's a pity none made it any further, but that's showbusiness, I guess.
As is Simon making that poor young Jessica leave the stage in tears last night -- and letting mad Stephen Hall through -- it's all so ridiculously camp, like a new generation of Eurovision Song Contest, this time without the boring eastern bloc countries voting.
Now I can't wait for tonight's final. So much so, that I even refuse to have a BGT Party, for fear my guests mightn't take it as seriously as me, and dare to talk through the acts, or worse, through the judges' verdicts.
So, I'll be viewing alone. Perhaps with my fiance Trevor, as long as he promises to keep his sarky comments to himself and not spoil my fun.
I've a history of magnificent BGT finals. The first year, I refused to watch any of the early rounds, yet found myself sitting in the Wembley studios with my friend Siobhan for the televised live final, thanks to Louis Walsh. We made a weekend of it, headed to London, booked in to The Berkeley Hotel, and got in-room manicures, cocktails and cupcakes the night before, in preparation for the big night.
Next day, we got our make-up done, bought new outfits and headed off to the studios in a black cab. Come showtime, we were ushered in, given VVIP wristbands, which entitled us to a pre and after party, and sat between the middle of two fiercely competitive families. One well-upholstered girl behind us had a vest top, a tight ponytail and "HIYA NAN!" written in black eye pencil across her cleavage. What a charming 'crowd shot' that would've made.
We clapped, cheered, and made sure to give all contestants due attention. Afterwards, we joined the finalists and their families, and Dane Bowers, for many glasses of Pinot Grigio. I saw Piers Morgan and almost rugby tackled him to the floor, so my friend could get her picture taken with him. He looked rather stunned in the photos.
Last year, my BGT final was equally thrilling. Trevor and I viewed it from the hot tub on the terrace of Aghadoe Heights Hotel's penthouse.
So, tonight I'm stuck to my sofa, phone (and fiance) on silent, Twitter on the iPad, huge bag of Pick n Mix in hand. What could be finer?