Britain’s Got Talent’s format changes for semi-final due to coronavirus pandemic

The long-awaited Britain’s Go Talent semi-finals are finally here.

The talent show was put on hold earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, ending just after the final auditions aired in May.

Now the show will return with pre-recorded semi-finals airing weekly, followed by the live final which is expected to take place in October.

And ITV bosses have worked hard to get the show back on the air safely, so it meets with government guidelines.

So it goes without saying that the show has had to undergo some massive format changes, but Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly will be back as usual.

BGT format changes

One major change to the semi-finals is that head judge Simon Cowell won’t be there.

Diversity’s Ashley Banjo will stand in for him as he recovers from back surgery after a bike accident in August.

Amanda Holden will be taking his place as Head Judge during his absence.

But Cowell did have a hand in developing how the shows would go ahead in a “socially distanced” way.

Speaking ahead of the semi finals. he explained how he didn’t want to “give too much away” but that the audience would “see something you’ve never seen before”.

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He added: “It’s very high tech.”

One of the biggest changes is that there is no audience in the studio, for the first time in the show’s history.

Instead, the acts will be watched by a virtual crowd, with performances streamed into homes across the UK.

The reactions of these will be live streamed into the studio on a giant screen.

Speaking of the changes Dec said on This Morning: “We have got no audience in the studio but we have a massive virtual audience, we have like 500 people on a huge wall in the studio, and they are all sat at home watching it so we have an audience and they are all sat on their sofa clapping and cheering along, it’s really good”.

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Eight contestants will perform in each semi-final, and the judges will choose one act to go through.

The second finalist will be chosen by the public when the episode airs.

Some of the acts will perform remotely via video link, while others will be in the studio.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the massive £250,000 prize, and the chance to perform at The Royal Variety Performance.

Britain’s Got Talent airs tonight, Saturday September 5th at 8pm on ITV.

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