We reveal what happened to BGT’s ‘forgotten finalists’

What happened to BGT’s forgotten finalists? As a grown-up Connie Talbot gets set to return to the show, the VERY unlikely paths taken by other former stars – from a barber to an Army dog trainer

  • Many familiar faces will return to the stage this weekend for BGT: The Champions
  • But many finalists from ITV talent show didn’t get the call to perform at Wembley
  • We revisit former stars like child singers Andrew Johnston and Bessie Cursons
  • Many have chosen other career paths such as hairdressing and criminology 
  • Kate of Kate and Gin, the dancing Border Collie, now trains dogs in the Army 

A whole host of familiar faces will be returning to the Britain’s Got Talent stage this weekend for The Champions.

This special edition of the ITV show will see former finalists and winners of the popular talent show battle it out at Wembley Arena to be crowned the ultimate star.

One of those is Connie Talbot, who wowed more than 11 million viewers in the first ever BGT final at the age of six with her angellic singing voice.

Now 18 and completely unrecognisable from her childhood appearance, Connie will perform her own song on the piano this Saturday.

But what about those finalists who didn’t get the call up to perform in front of the judging panel?


Now 18 and completely unrecognisable from her childhood appearance (left), Connie (pictured now right) will perform her own song on the piano this Saturday

Since its beginning way back in June 2007, many acts from the 13 series have used the platform to go on and forge successful careers in their respective talents, while others have taken a very different path in life.

Here FEMAIL takes a look back at the ‘forgotten finalists’ and what they’re up to now.

Andrew Johnston

Back in series two, Dumfries-born Andrew – whose full name is Andrew Aaron Lewis Patrick Brannock John Grieve Michael Robert Oscar Schmidt Johnston – was a 13-year-old soprano choir boy who revealed he’d been bullied for his love of classical music. 

He stole the hearts of the nation – and brought judge Amanda Holden to tears – with his stunning rendition of Pie Jesu in the final and finished third, losing out to winner George Sampson and dance group Signature. 

Back in series two, Dumfries-born Andrew – whose full name is Andrew Aaron Lewis Patrick Brannock John Grieve Michael Robert Oscar Schmidt Johnston – was a 13-year-old soprano choir boy who revealed he’d been bullied for his love of classical music

Andrew left the stage in tears, having been tipped as the favourite to win, but later reportedly signed a £1million record deal with Syco and released his first album, One Voice, in September 2008.

It debuted in the British charts at number five and featured a cover of Walking in the Air, performed with fellow BGT finalist Faryl Smith. It was later certified gold, having sold 100,000 copies.

Andrew continued to make appearances around the country but announced a hiatus from singing in September 2009 as his voice had broken, taking him from a treble to a tenor.

Andrew continued to make appearances around the country but announced a hiatus from singing in September 2009 as his voice had broken, taking him from a treble to a tenor. Pictured during a break in Amsterdam

He then joined the National Youth Choir and began studying for a Bachelor of Music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in 2013 – though his singing was adversely affected by a broken nose following an unprovoked attack in a Carlisle nightclub on New Year’s Day in 2014. 

Now a baritone, earlier this year Andrew, 23, won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, due to start this autumn – having worked as a roofer for several years to save up the cash to pursue his singing dream.

Speaking to the Sunday Post, he said: ‘Opera is what I want to do. I am expecting it to be tough and intense but that’s what I want. I want to be challenged at the highest level.’ 


Now a baritone, after his voice dropped, earlier this year Andrew, 23, won a full scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music, due to start this autumn – having worked as a roofer to save up the cash to pursue his singing dream

Bessie Cursons

Young actres Bessie, then 12, reached the final of the first series of the ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent in 2007. 

She performed My Fair Lady classic Wouldn’t it be Loverly in her audition, and went on to smash Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins in the semi-final and Get me to the Church on Time in the final, eventually losing out to winner Paul Potts.


Young actres Bessie, then 12, reached the final of the first series of the ITV talent show Britain’s Got Talent in 2007. Pictured singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins in the semi-final

Bessie went on to train at the renowned Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, and has subsequently taken leading roles in several productions including the feature film Nativity! and ITV’s My Phone Genie. 

Now 24, Bessie, from Portsmouth, is a dance teacher and choreographer and the principal of her own performing arts school – The Bessie Cursons Theatre and Dance Academy.

Last month she got engaged to boyfriend Ashley Carter, also 24, in Amsterdam and the pair are already busy planning their wedding.   

Last month Bessie got engaged to boyfriend Ashley Carter, also 24, in Amsterdam and the pair are already busy planning their wedding

Kate and Gin

Kate Nicholas, from Norbury, Cheshire and her dancing Border Collie, Gin, appeared on the second series of BGT in April 2008, becoming head judge Simon Cowell’s favourite to win with their musical performance to Moby’s remake of the James Bond theme tune.

In the semi-final the talented duo performed a new routine to The Scissor Sisters’ classic I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’, and finished behind dance group signature, taking them into the final.


Kate Nicholas, from Norbury, Cheshire and her dancing Border Collie, Gin, appeared on the second series of BGT in April 2008

They repeated their audition routine in the grand final but failed to make the top three.

After the show Kate published a book, appropriately entitled Kate and Gin, which is a ‘how to’ guide for teaching your dog to dance to music and do tricks. 

Kate gave up a course in animal management to pursue a career in pantomime, with the pair appearing in a performance of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal Windsor.  

In 2011, Kate hung up her panto shoes and joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in the puppy development section, based at the Defence Animal Centre.

She did an operational tour as a military working dog handler in Afghanistan and now trains all dogs, using the same techniques she used with Gin. Kate revealed she joined the Army because she wanted to use her skills in a ‘practical sense’ as opposed to entertainment.  

In 2011, Kate hung up her panto shoes and joined the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in the puppy development section, based at the Defence Animal Centre. Pictured in Afghanistan

Aidan Davis

Birmingham-born Aidan shot to fame aged 12 as a street dancer on series three in 2009, finishing fifth overall – despite having never had a dance lesson.

He wowed the audience and viewers with his gravity-defying performance to Flo Rida’s hit Low and was hailed ‘better than any dancer on this show and ‘super, super, super talented’ by Simon Cowell.


Birmingham-born Aidan shot to fame aged 12 as a street dancer on series three in 2009, finishing fifth overall – despite having never had a dance lesson

Aidan danced to Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake in the semi-final and received a standing ovation – and was put through to the final after receiving the highest public vote. 

He returned to his audition piece for the final, but Simon brought him to tears when he said it ‘wasn’t as good’ as his first round performance. 

After joining the BGT tour and performing at numerous venues around the UK, Aidan toured with series three winners Diversity in 2010 and went on to present on the CBBC show Friday Download, teaching members of the audience some of his signature dance moves.

He’s since set his sights on becoming a rapper and released a single in 2016 called Couldn’t Care Less, which refers to the devastating time in his life when he nearly lost both his parents.

In 2014 Aidan’s mother was rushed to hospital and his father, bodybuilder Leroy Davis, had a heart attack


Aidan’s certainly following in his father’s footsteps, as he’s a keen gym-goer, with the tattooed hunk showing off his muscles on social media

In 2014 his mother was rushed to hospital and his father, bodybuilder Leroy Davis, had a heart attack. Fortunately they both pulled through.

Aidan’s certainly following in his father’s footsteps, as he’s a keen gym-goer, with the tattooed hunk regularly showing off his muscles on social media.  

Tobias Mead


In series four Tobias, then 22, from Warminster, Wiltshire, made it to the final with his contortion-inspired dance act

Tobias went on to form the dancing duo Duplic8 with prodigal performer Jak Tuite-Leach and the talented pair were named champions of Got To Dance 2014

In series four Tobias, then 22, from Warminster, Wiltshire, made it to the final with his contortion-inspired dance act and finished in sixth place, after auditioning with a routine to Ching-A-Ling by Missy Elliot.

He went on to form the dancing duo Duplic8 with prodigal performer Jak Tuite-Leach and the talented pair were named champions of Got To Dance 2014.

According to his Twitter bio, Tobias is now a barber in London as well as a professional performer and currently dates fellow actor-dancer Samantha Inge. 


According to his Twitter bio, Tobias is now a barber in London, having learned his craft at Cut and Grind

Molly Rainford

Essex-born Molly brought the house down with her rendition of One Night Only in the series six BGT auditions at the tender age of 11.

The starlet, whose father is former England footballer Dave Rainford, sang Must Have Been Love in the semi-final and landed a place in the top three and subsequently the final thanks to viewer votes. 

Essex-born Molly brought the house down with her rendition of One Night Only in the series six BGT auditions at the tender age of 11

She sang Ave Maria in the final but was beaten by infamous dancing duo Ashleigh and Pudsey the dog, however Molly was still snapped up by Sony and handed a record deal.

The label paid for her to attend Sylvia Young Theatre School in London, which counts Rita Ora and Billie Piper among its alumni.

Now 18, Molly has presented on CBBC show the Friday Download, working alongside Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anais, and released two singles; I Like You in 2018 and Commitment in 2019.


Now 18, Molly has presented on CBBC show the Friday Download, working alongside Noel Gallagher’s daughter Anais, and released two singles; I Like You in 2018 and Commitment in 2019

Jordan O’Keefe 

Singer-singwriter Jordan, now 25, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, appeared on series seven of BGT, having previously worked as an estate agent.

Upon auditioning for BGT in 2013, he revealed he’d initially applied for a college course in music but his father changed it to business, leaving him ‘raging’.

Singer-singwriter Jordan, now 25, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, appeared on series seven of BGT, having previously worked as an estate agent

Jordan performed a guitar-led version of Little Things by One Direction and was a favourite among the judges. 

He went on to sing I Will Always Love You in the semi-finals and made it through to the final on the public vote, where he performed Katy Perry’s Firework and finished in sixth place.

During the show it was revealed he was friends with One Direction star Niall Horan, who was his ‘inspiration’ to win, and had also auditioned for X Factor the same year, narrowly missing out.

In January, Jordan opened up about his mental health battles, revealing he turned to alcohol as a crutch while suffering with anxiety and depression and even tried to take his own life five years ago

After the final Jordan was signed to the entertainment agency ROAR Global and was the support act for BGT runners-up Jonathan Antoine and Charlotte Jaconelli on their UK arena tour.

In January, Jordan opened up about his mental health battles, revealing he turned to alcohol as a crutch while suffering with anxiety and depression when his career took a down-turn and even tried to take his own life five years ago.

He told the Belfast Telegraph he believes talent shows like BGT ‘chew you up and spit you out’ if you’re a young musician writing your own songs and admitted his mental health ‘started to get bad’ while competing on it. 

Jordan said it worsened when he returned to Northern Ireland and he turned to booze and did ‘stupid things’.  

‘I had no confidence in myself at all and I was drinking nearly every night of the week,’ he said.

Jordan said his anxiety worsened when he returned to Northern Ireland and he turned to booze and did ‘stupid things’. Pictured headlining The 2017 Newry Pride celebrations and parade in 2017

‘My mum and dad were oblivious to it all because I hid it. I was living in an apartment by myself. One night everything came to a head. I had drunk so much and was so far gone that I thought someone was sitting in the room with me telling me to take my own life. And I did try to. 

‘Luckily enough, I had left my kitchen window open and my dad called around. He saw me lying there, climbed in the kitchen window, scooped me up and got me help. I never went back to that house. That was my lowest ebb. It was very, very bad.’

Now Jordan’s life is back on track and he’s returned to the stage, playing the festival circuit. 

Steven Hall

Steven, 61, from Kendall, had viewers in hysterics with his comedy dance routines in series five.


Steven, 61, from Kendall, had viewers in hysterics with his comedy dance routines in series five

He grooved his way through to the final, with moves inspired by the likes of Beyonce and Shakira, and was even described as ‘cool’ by Simon Cowell. 

Since the BGT arena tour, Steven has been a regular at holiday parks, hotels and nightclubs around the UK and even appeared on a German TV show – Cindy aus Marzahn und die Jungen Wilden.

He joined Cold Feet star John Thomson in The Easter Funny Show at the Manchester Opera House ast year and is now a panto dame favourite, having performed in Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White and Aladdin.  


Steven is now a panto favourite, having performed in Cinderella, Peter Pan, Snow White and Aladdin

Sallie Lax

Doncaster grandfather and grandaughter duo 2Grand warmed the hearts of the nation in 2009, singing A Whole New World from Aladdin in their first audition.

At the time judge Piers Morgan said: ‘This competition is all about people like you, you came out here and totally charmed this audience.’

Doncaster grandfather and grandaughter duo John Neill and Sallie Lax, aka 2Grand, warmed the hearts of the nation in 2009, singing A Whole New World from Aladdin in their first audition

John Neill and Sallie Lax, now 23, reached the finals in series three – the year Susan Boyle was beaten into second place by Diversity.

Sadly John, who lost his wife Joan to cancer three days before auditioning for the ITV talent show, lost his own battle with the disease in September 2014.

He had continued to perform while receiving treatment, which the family kept quiet to avoid upsetting fans. 


Sallie lives in Doncaster with her long-term boyfriend and is began studying criminology and psychology at The Open University in 2017

Sallie has since retired from showbiz life, and is now a devoted mother to her young daughter.

She lives in Doncaster with her long-term boyfriend and began studying criminology and psychology at The Open University in 2017.  

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details. 

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