Britain’s Got Talent: we’ve all seen the show, with its Susan Boyle-eque moments, overly deluded contestants and big red buzzers. But how much of what we see on our screens is reality as opposed to just clever editing?

I recently spoke to one of this year’s successful auditionees Cesar Laser to find out his views.

Eccentric comedic pop artist Cesar Laser was a main focus on the ITV2 show Britain’s Got more Talent which aired on Saturday April 21, singing his own song ‘My Supersonic Volkswagen Beetle’.

His audition footage shown included him describing himself as "epic and powerful" and saying, "I feel I could just eat an elephant right now that’s how confident I am", but to get to these potential golden words, Cesar describes how he was interviewed by around five different film crews on the day of the audition as well as Britain’s Got More Talent presenter Stephen Mulhern.

He was also made to have "posing footage" taken. “I now really wish I went to town with the posing, Zoolander style…half the day was spent filming, and half of it spent waiting around,” Laser told Label.

It is apparently quite common to be mic’d up to complete strangers and told to just talk about anything, although "suggested topics" are given, while cameras film you constantly for something that can be used in the show.

Cesar continued saying:

“At one point, I was mic'd up with the grandmother of another contestant and prompted to speak about Carmen Electra's involvement as a guest judge. I realised they were searching for some minute, sound-byte they could cut in with a montage of other footage so I said something like, 'Carmen Electra has everything a woman needs…and them some.'  this soundbyte was then used on episode one when they had a small sequence discussing her involvement.”

Before getting to the waiting room part, all contestants must check in. On screen this is shown as them on camera stating their name and act when in reality the real check in has been done on paper long before this.

Although for us Britain’s Got Talent doesn’t air until around April, for anyone auditioning the process starts months before with an application online, a preliminary audition in front of producers and camera in December, and then the main audition coming in February.

“In the preliminary audition they asked all contestants to queue up outside and walk towards the camera as one massive crowd, waving and stuff, in order to make out like everyone was just arriving for their auditions”, this, along with shots of the judges getting out of cars at each city the auditions are taking place in usually go towards building the excitement at the beginning of each show.      

So what about the actual audition, is it really as scary as it looks?

“Being backstage was the most intimidating part of the process but after meeting Ant and Dec once I stepped out onto the stage I saw that it wasn't some immense beast I was facing; just another crowd. And the presence of the judges seemed insignificant; my initial reaction to seeing them was, 'Oh…there they are. So what?' They were just part of the audience.”

For Cesar, the audition unfortunately didn’t go as easily as it could have, the CD he used with his backing track skipped twice while he was onstage forcing him into singing his song acapella.

“Being buzzed was not fun, the sound was irritating backstage, but even more stupidly jarring onstage. What was broadcast on television was heavily edited, after the second time the CD skipped, Alisha buzzed and folded her arms. The song was stopped not long after, and I told the crowd, 'Please excuse the delay, Ladies and Gents; we appear to be experiencing technical difficulties,' which got a laugh at least."

"Simon then went on some forgettable rant about how the song's opening catch-phrase annoyed him, and then a technician leaned in to whisper in his ear. When comprehension dawned on his face he threw his hands in the air at me, unimpressed, declaring: 'The CD is skipping…' I was asked to perform the song acapella, and after doing so, got the extra yes from Simon to go through.”

As Cesar’s act is based around comedy he states how the best part was meeting David Walliams: “I wasn't exactly starstruck, it was more a case of jovial acknowledgement, like an, 'Oh, there he is!' and he did at least put a smile on my face”.

With the show first airing just over a week ago, I also wondered how much of an impact the exposure can have: “Despite coming out of the competition glum-faced with 'should've, would've' could've' ringing in my mind, I've had a abundance of positive feedback on my Youtube Channel, which I find encouraging, I've had a minor explosion of followers on Twitter and I've added about 150 "friends" on Facebook (for promotional purposes and the occassional ego boost…).

"'My Supersonic Volkswagen Beetle' also got to number one on the UK iTunes Comedy Charts for about a day which I guess is achievement enough for a first record, and a father also uploaded his two kids singing the 'Beetle' song on Youtube. In addition, a few people have also offered to design album artwork, my own personal website and look into a music video for the song featured on the show, and I've also been offered a commission to write a song for a nanotechnology company”.

Not bad for a few days work then?

So it may be the case that BGT isn’t so much staged as it is heavily edited: "I’d say that while there is definitely a formula to the whole programme, room for improvisation far outweighs the staged aspects of it… truthfully, I'd say about 10% of BGT is staged."

"I think anyone who wishes to do anything in showbusiness should strongly consider BGT; I've met plenty of great acts living in anonymity – while it's very much a make-or-break- opportunity, being successful on BGT can save you years of work trying to gain exposure as is a great way to find your niche target audience."

"I rushed into the whole thing because I figured life was too short. I went a little under-prepared, to say the least; I simply didn't have enough time to throw a proper costume/look together…  best advice, be better prepared than I was if you plan to go on the show!”  


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