It’s been a busy day at the Britain’s Got Talent studios. After a night of sporadic sleep, my taxi arrived at 8am and I was in my dressing room by 8.15 brushing a quick bit of bronzer on before the outdoor broadcast team from ITV’s Lorraine met me, Nabil Abdulrashid and Aaron and Jasmine on the studio stage. One quick rehearsal and we were live on Lorraine chatting about our hopes and dreams through sleep-crusted eyes.
Then it was back to the dressing room, a quick catch up with Steve Royle and a sneak peek at the names on the other dressing room doors as it still hasn’t been announced who the public have put through to the finals. Had to check out the competition! It’s going to be a great show.
I had a creative meeting on Zoom with the producers a few days ago and they’d shown me pictures of the set that they wanted to create for my song. The piano had a red lining and reminded me of the ridiculously expensive Christian Laboutin shoes famous for their red soles so I casually suggested I should wear a pair as part of my costume. “Fabulous idea” was the response and now here I was in my dressing room looking at a pair of trainers with spikes on the toe caps that could really help with social distancing. The costume designer had suggested that I needed to keep my ‘accessible, family-man Dad’ image intact so there’s no way I’m going to make it public knowledge that my shoes cost more than my mortgage payment.
I was changed into one of the four suits that had been provided, spiked toes were in place and then it was time to run my performance with producers sat in the judge’s chairs and old, grey men standing in for Ant & Dec. It was a great rehearsal and quite emotional to be back on that stage sat behind a piano. No doubt sat at a piano on any stage would have made me feel the same way, it’s been a while.
The virtual wall was full of the stock photos used before friends, family and the rest of the virtual audience would join us tomorrow night but the sound coming from it was the same… silence. It’s definitely a poor substitute for a live audience but I admit it looks fabulous on your TV screens, I just have to remember that it’s still a big audience out there… the biggest I’ve ever performed to, by a few million!
After a few run throughs it was another interview, this time with ITV news which will run tomorrow night across the country. They said they could tell that I’d done a few interviews, ‘because I sounded slick’! I try not to give the same answers to the same questions that I’ve been asked since this crazy journey began and I still really enjoy the process although my Wife says that I waffle too much. I prefer ITV’s opinion and I’ll go with ‘slick’! Everything was wrapped up by about 4pm and they told me I was free to go back to the hotel, a lot earlier than I expected. That meant I had plenty of time for a nap, a fake tan wipe and a pizza delivery. I am so nailing this rock and roll lifestyle.
So tomorrow is the big day. It’s the recording of the show that you’ll all see on Saturday night and a show that has already changed my life. After the recording I’ll be back at the hotel for 24 hours before we go back to the studio for the results of the public vote. I can’t begin to imagine how I’m going to fill that time. Possibly with a couple of hours sleep, possibly with wine, definitely with nerves, anticipation, excitement and whole host of other emotions that will come bursting out of me if the unthinkable happens. So many people from friends to journalists have asked “What if you win?” and I’ve honestly tried not to think about it. Unsuccessfully obviously.
Many mornings and middle-of-the-nights I’ve been woken with thoughts of hearing my name announced, how I’d feel, what it would mean to my Mum, my Wife, my kids, everyone who has given me the most amazing encouragement and support over the last nine months and honestly, I don’t know. That’s the truth. I haven’t written any of my songs with the intention of winning a competition, I’ve just tried to write words and tunes that mean something, that people can relate to, and that hopefully make people feel good in these times when feeling good is in short supply.
I’m fairly certain that I will cry, I just hope it’s not a snot-bubbling tearfest that I spray over Ant and Dec as I blub my thanks and gratitude. More a classy tear-down-the-cheek movie moment as the hero walks towards the love of his life having saved the world. I think snot-bubble is much more likely though.
If you do feel the urge to vote for me on Saturday night, thank you. If you feel you’d like to come and see me on my tour next year, thank you again, even if it’s just to tell me that you voted for Steve Royle. Here’s to a future that either way, I could never have imagined back in January when walking out on to that Palladium stage was a dream fulfilled. This is way beyond anything I could have ever expected and I can’t wait to share it with you. x