Amanda Holden struggled to hold back tears in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions’ first semi-final on Saturday, as she awarded Ukranian sand artist Kseniya Simonova the coveted Golden Buzzer.

The star praised her ‘uplifting and emotional’ performance which documented the story of a child battling cancer.

It came as fan favourites Connie Talbott and Paul Potts failed to make it through to final, as the studio audience voted for US duo Bello and Annaliese Nock. 

Emotional: Amanda Holden was left in tears in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions’ first semi-final, as she awarded Ukranian sand artist Kseniya Simonova the coveted Golden Buzzer

Distraught: The judge praised the 'uplifting and emotional' performance and pressed the buzzer sending her straight through to the final

Distraught: The judge praised the ‘uplifting and emotional’ performance and pressed the buzzer sending her straight through to the final

For the performance, Kseniya – who won the very first series of Ukraine’s Got Talent – moved the entire audience through a series of animations in a tray of sand.

While the performance earned a thunderous reception from the crowd, it was Amanda who pressed the buzzer which sent her straight through to the final. 

She then said: ‘I heard your story at the beginning of how you work with cancer patients, so the whole message was very uplifting and very emotional. 

‘For me your quiet skill requires no language, nothing needed explaining you did it with just sand it was absolutely beautiful.’

Incredible: For the performance, Kseniya – who won the very first series of Ukraine’s Got Talent – moved the entire audience through a series of animations in a tray of sand

Glamorous: The beautiful star wowed the crowd with her performance

Sensational: It earned her a place in the final in five weeks time

Glamorous: The beautiful star wowed the crowd with her performance, which earned her a place in the final in five weeks time

I pick you! As the judge who had received the Golden Buzzer for that week, Amanda chose Kseniya for a spot in the final

I pick you! As the judge who had received the Golden Buzzer for that week, Amanda chose Kseniya for a spot in the final

After the nine acts had performed, it was time to reveal who the studio audience had chosen to receive a place in the final.

Despite wowing viewers with their incredible performances, BGT 2007 stars Connie and Paul failed to make the top three, which consisted of Ashleigh Butler and her dog Sully, US father-daughter duo Bello and Annaliese Nock and the legendary dancing Stormtroopers Boogie Storm.

The judges struggled to hide their shock that neither singers had finished highly in the voting, with viewers at home equally outraged.

Shocking: BGT 2007 winner Paul Potts was considered a hot contender by many, but failed to even make the top three

Shocking: BGT 2007 winner Paul Potts was considered a hot contender by many, but failed to even make the top three

Not even her? Connie was also tipped to perform well in the competition, but was swiftly eliminated

Not even her? Connie was also tipped to perform well in the competition, but was swiftly eliminated

Outrageous: The judges struggled to hide their shock as both Paul and Connie Talbott didn't make the final

Stunned: The vote came from the studio audience of so-called 'Got Talent Superfans'

Outrageous: The judges struggled to hide their shock as both Paul and Connie Talbott failed to make the final

One posted: ‘Catching up on #bgtchampions but just seen Connie hasn’t gotten through WHAT!?!? She was AMAZING I’m gutted.’

Another wrote: ‘It’s bad that Connie didn’t get through to the final but the fact she didn’t make the top 3 just shows how the whole ‘The audience get to choose who goes through’ was definitely the wrong decision by producers.’

A third also tweeted: ‘Paul Potts and Connie should have definitely been in the top three.’ 

Fuming: Viewers took to Twitter in uproar at the decision, as they insisted Paul and Connie should have earned a spot in the final

Fuming: Viewers took to Twitter in uproar at the decision, as they insisted Paul and Connie should have earned a spot in the final

Connie stunned viewers when she returned to the show that made her a star after a staggering 12 years.

No longer a toothy six-year-old, the now 18-year-old stunned with her idyllic vocals, as she accompanied the performance on the piano.

Simon praised: ‘Connie you have teeth! I will remember that first audition for the rest of my life, I don’t think we’d be sitting here today if it wasn’t for you so we owe you a massive thank you. You’ve come back once again as a star.’ 

She's changed! And after first competing on the show in 2007 as a toothy six-year-old, Connie Talbot stunned the judges with her incredible vocals

She’s changed! And after first competing on the show in 2007 as a toothy six-year-old, Connie Talbot stunned the judges with her incredible vocals

Iconic: Connie first competed on the show in 2007, and finished runner-up

Sensational: Simon said they 'wouldn't be sitting there today' if it wasn't for her audition

Throwback! The now 18-year-old singer wowed with her amazing performance, as Simon said they ‘wouldn’t be sitting there today’ if it wasn’t for her audition

Paul, 48, also earned a standing ovation as he returned to the stage after being crowned the first ever Britain’s Got Talent champion.

The former mobile phone salesman once again wowed with his jaw-dropping opera skills, this time to the most famous theme song from The Godfather.

Alesha praised: ‘It must feel like coming home, you belong on that stage. One of the things I love about you is your humility, another powerful performance, well done my friend.

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Amanda added: One of the things we love about you is how down to earth you are, you’ve had a massive story of success, and nothing of you has changed apart from your teeth Paul.’

History-making: Paul, 48, also earned a standing ovation as he returned to the stage after being crowned the first ever Britain's Got Talent champion

History-making: Paul, 48, also earned a standing ovation as he returned to the stage after being crowned the first ever Britain’s Got Talent champion

Brilliant: The former mobile phone salesman once again wowed with his jaw-dropping opera skills, this time to the most famous theme song from The Godfather

Brilliant: The former mobile phone salesman once again wowed with his jaw-dropping opera skills, this time to the most famous theme song from The Godfather

It comes after BGT 2012 champion Ashleigh and her new dog Sully kicked off the first semi-final.

The pair’s partnership came after the stars’ beloved dog Pudsey – with whom she won the show – passed away in 2017. 

Once again the pair delighted viewers with a vintage Mary Poppins-inspired routine that showed off the pooch’s amazing moves. 

David Walliams gushed: ‘I love that, the set was of course based on my bedroom, all those year ago the national fell in love with Ashleigh and Pudsey and tonight we all fell in love with Ashleigh and Sully.’ 

United: First to take to the stage were BGT 2012 winners Ashleigh Butler, and her new pet dog Sully

Close: The pair performed following the death of Ashleigh's dog Pudsey in 2017

United: It comes after BGT 2012 champion Ashleigh and her new dog Sully kicked off the first semi-final

Lovely: Once again the pair delighted viewers with a vintage Mary Poppins-inspired routine that showed off the pooch's amazing moves

Lovely: Once again the pair delighted viewers with a vintage Mary Poppins-inspired routine that showed off the pooch’s amazing moves

Sweet: Presenter Ant McPartlin even got a kiss from Sully after he wowed the judges with the performance

Sweet: Presenter Ant McPartlin even got a kiss from Sully after he wowed the judges with the performance

Next to perform were the eventual winners Bello and Annaliese Nock, who became overnight sensations when they competed separately on America’s Got Talent.

Joining forces for the first time, the pair left viewers – and the judges – gasping for breath, as they performed on a rotating setup of iron poles – without a safety net.

The daredevils’ act saw the poles repeatedly rotate with both Bello and Annaliese moving and hanging on the structure with ease.

USA! Next to perform were the eventual winners Bello and Annaliese Nock, who were performing together for the first time

USA! Next to perform were the eventual winners Bello and Annaliese Nock, who were performing together for the first time

Heart-stopping: The pair became overnight sensations when they competed separately on America's Got Talent

Heart-stopping: The pair became overnight sensations when they competed separately on America’s Got Talent

Heart-stopping: The daredevils' act saw the poles repeatedly rotate with both Bello and Annaliese moving and hanging on the structure with ease

Heart-stopping: The daredevils’ act saw the poles repeatedly rotate with both Bello and Annaliese moving and hanging on the structure with ease

Stunning: Amanda put on a glamorous display as she appeared on the judging panel in a beautiful plunging white and yellow gown

Stunning: Amanda put on a glamorous display as she appeared on the judging panel in a beautiful plunging white and yellow gown

Simon Cowell particularly commended the pair for being alive each time he sses them, adding: ‘You two are certifiably insane, and I mean that as a compliment. The reaction here is everything I hope it would be. 

‘Since I got to know both of you, you are one of the most incredible acts we’ve had on GT over the years. You’re still alive, so thank you.’

David also pointed out Bello’s distinct blonde hair, adding: ‘It was absolutely horrible, I could barely watch you, don’t we have a health and safety department on this show – it was abs incredible you look like you’re Jedward’s dad.’ 

I'm scared! Asia's Got Talent's The Sacred Riana also caused chills with her terrifying illusion act, dragging a petrified Amanda onto the stage

I’m scared! Asia’s Got Talent’s The Sacred Riana also caused chills with her terrifying illusion act, dragging a petrified Amanda onto the stage

Funnymen: The Nelson Twins also left the judges in hysterics after travelling all the way from Australian with their comical double act

Funnymen: The Nelson Twins also left the judges in hysterics after travelling all the way from Australian with their comical double act

They got moves! Bad Salsa Sonali and Sarder also stunned with an incredible acrobatic dance routine after competing on India's Got Talent

They got moves! Bad Salsa Sonali and Sarder also stunned with an incredible acrobatic dance routine after competing on India’s Got Talent

They're back! And as ever Boogie Storm earned a rousing response as the dancing Stormtroopers returned with a miniature new addition

They’re back! And as ever Boogie Storm earned a rousing response as the dancing Stormtroopers returned with a miniature new addition

Playful: The mini-Trooper led Simon to ask whether his son Eric, five, had secretly joined the troupe

Playful: The mini-Trooper led Simon to ask whether his son Eric, five, had secretly joined the troupe

The Nelson Twins also left the judges in hysterics after travelling all the way from Australian with their comical double act.

Bad Salsa Sonali and Sarder also stunned with an incredible acrobatic dance routine after competing on India’s Got Talent. 

Asia’s Got Talent’s The Sacred Riana also caused chills with her terrifying illusion act, dragging a petrified Amanda onto the stage to the apparent fear of her fellow judges. 

And as ever Boogie Storm earned a rousing response as the dancing Stormtroopers returned with a miniature new addition, which led Simon to ask whether his son Eric, five, had secretly joined the troupe. 

Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions continues on Saturday 7th September at 8pm on ITV. 

Back soon: Britain's Got Talent: The Champions continues on Saturday 7th September at 8pm on ITV

Back soon: Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions continues on Saturday 7th September at 8pm on ITV



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