What a season for 'Talent'!

Saturday evening was full of "Talent" for all of Britain. And it appears the country was all tuning in to find out which act would walk away 100,000 pounds (approx. $159,000) richer and get a spot to perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Performance show in December.

A remarkably large 19.19 million viewers tuned in to the finale, making it the most successful TV show in the country for five years, according to the show's official Web site. More than 71 percent of people with a TV on had it tuned to "Talent."

Granted, 19.19 million viewers seems average compared to the American standard. The final night of "American Idol" garnered more than 23 million viewers (source), which was considered low. Of course, one must also consider the size of the United Kingdom, which has a population more than five times smaller than the United States (source).

Here are a few more interesting facts from the show's site:
• That many people haven't watched the same show since England played Portugal - and lost - in the semi finals of footy tournament Euro 2004.
• Thought to be the highest ever peak audience for a reality show on British TV
• Almost 15.5 million people sat on their sofa for two hours earlier in the evening to watch all 10 acts perform
• A peak of 18.02 million (75% viewing share) were all watching at 8:10 p.m.
More than four million votes were registered
The official Web site will publish voting percentages per act on Monday

Thanks to the show's recently made global celebrity Susan Boyle, by now most of you reading this blog post, know that she was not crowned winner of "Britain's Got Talent" season three; she was runner-up to dance group Diversity.

Saturday night's finale kicked off at 6:45 p.m. (again, trying not to compare this to American TV) with performances by all 10 finalists, listed below in alphabetical order:

2 Grand, Aidan Davis, Diversity, Flawless, Hollie Steele, Julian Smith, Shaheen Jafargholi, Shaun Smith, Stavros Flatley, Susan Boyle

After the audition round when Susan Boyle emerged as a global gem, I began watching various auditions. Only at the end of last week, when the finalists were announced, did I basically go nuts over the show and watched the two videos associated with each of the finalists (their auditions and semi-final performances).

When Saturday night's finale aired across the pond, I was ready. For a five-minute recap of the finale, visit the official Web site.

Here are my favorites from the evening, in order of most-liked...

• Shaheen Jafargholi, 12-year-old singer:

• Diversity, winning high-energy dance troupe:

• Susan Boyle, 48-year-old globally-known singer from a small Scottish village:

• Aidan Davis, 11-year-old dancer:

• Stavros Flatley, bizarre father-son comedy/dance duo:

• Julian Smith, soprano saxophonist:

Susan Boyle sang "I Dreamed a Dream" again in the finals. The Scottish singer was the first runner-up. "The best people won," she said. "They are very entertaining lads. I wish you all the best."

Third place went to soprano saxophonist Julian Smith.

"As for the finale itself, words almost (only almost, mind...) fail me," said judge Piers Morgan on his blog for the show. "It was one of the most stunning events I can ever remember." Read his full comments here.

I am pretty jealous of NBC News' Meredith Vieira, who was in the audience for the finale! She also interviewed Morgan on TODAY Friday morning (before the finale):

You can easily view the entire season, including all 10 finale performances and the results on the show's YouTube channel. Exclusive videos can be found on the official Web site for "Britain's Got Talent."

For a nice summary of the finalists, read TV Guide's assessment.

Here is the recap from NBC News' Jim Maceda, reporting from London on Saturday night's "Nightly News":

Image courtesy: http://talent.itv.com/.


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