Craig Murray, writing of the experiences of a family friend who has been a contestant in the current series, gives us an insight into how the programme works:
Yes, she is a good singer but, as I have often argued, nothing on television is what it seems.
Nadira and I spoke with Julia Nadienko this afternoon before her performance tonight in the semi-final of Britain's Got Talent, and she had been crying. She said they were forcing her to dance to music that was totally unsuitable, and not allowing her choreography.
Interestingly, she said that the same thing had happened at the first round televised audition. She had taken with her a CD of Arabic drum music to do a traditional belly dance, but had not been allowed to do it, and instead told to dance to Shakira and with a more pop choreography.
That contradicts the whole carefully presented image of the show, of which the story line is that at the auditions the acts just turn up and nobody knows what exactly they are going to do.
That image of spontaneity was manifest most spectacularly in the case of Susan Boyle, where the video made famous on You Tube pretends that the judges did not even know she was a singer or whether she would be any good. The judges then proceeded to manifest what, when you know the truth, you can see is terribly ham acted astonishment.
In fact, just as Julia had her music and choreography altered before her audition, the show would have already seen Susan Boyle, have known exactly what Susan Boyle was going to do, how good she was, and had quite probably chosen the song for her. I bet even the clunking jaw dropping of the judges was rehearsed.
The "Susan Boyle moment" was a brilliantly produced fake.