Soprano singing guy, Greg Pritchard, steals the show on Britains Got Talent

The contestants on Britain’s Got Talent are on fire this year. First we had Susan Boyle, whose rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” became the most viewed clip on the Internet of all time. Then there was 12-year-old singer Shaheen Jafargholi, (link leads to video) whose excellent rendition of “Who’s Loving You” by Michael Jackson was somewhat controversial as it followed a failed start of “Valerie,” which some people speculated was set up by producers to create drama. Little 10 year-old Hollie Steel stole our hearts with her professional quality song and dance and now another wild card with talent has been thrown into the mix.

Emo-looking waiter Greg Pritchard initially draws comparisons to American Idol’s Adam Lambert, but once he sings all comparisons end. The guy has a soprano voice that can rival a female opera singer. Judges looked impressed but a little confused, and although Pritchard can sing the disconnect between his appearance and the way he sings may be too much for the voting public. Pritchard sang “Nessun Dorma,” the song from the opera Turandot that first season winner Paul Potts famously used for his audition. Only Potts did it tenor style:

When I first laid eyes on the latest buzzy Britain’s Got Talent sensation, 24-year-old Welsh waiter Greg Pritchard, I sort of assumed he was the across-the-pond equivalent of Adam Lambert.

Greg definitely had the Lambert Look I wanted to know better: copiously product-placed hairdo, expertly applied guyliner, H&M black pleather, ambiguously androgynous rocker-boy image, and obvious natural charisma. I only hoped that he’d also have Adam’s incredible vocal range.

Well, the bloke had range, all right.

Blimey. This “male soprano” was a whole lot prettier than Susan Boyle (no “makeover” necessary here)…AND his voice was about, um, 18 octaves shriller! He in fact possessed a higher-pitched tone than even Britain’s Got Talent’s pre-pubescent singing ballerina, Hollie Steel.

While the Britain’s Got Talent TV drama has always been completely and rather formulaically based on fakeouts (i.e., the judges and audience assuming a contestant won’t be able to sing a note, then being proven very, very wrong), this latest BGT stunner may have been the most surprising yet. Greg’s performance was definitely disconcerting at first, hearing such a glass-shattering falsetto emanating from a ruggedly soul-patch-accented male mouth. Certainly the shocked silence in the Britain’s Got Talent auditorium was indication of this gender-bending, mind-bending confusion, as was the temporarily speechlessness of the normally loquacious Simon Cowell.

And when Simon eventually said, “That shouldn’t have just happened,” it was unclear whether or not he was actually impressed.

But yes, it did happen…and yes, it should have happened. Greg’s vocals (like “a dog meowing,” according to what Simon intended as a bizarre, almost Paula Abdul-like compliment) may have been an acquired taste upon first listen, but his “Nessun Dorma” performance was still bloody gob-smacking, as the Brits might say.

[From thanks to my husband for the tip]

It’s hard to tell how far Pritchard will go. He has a great personality and his voice is superb. He hit every note. It’s just hard to reconcile his appearance with the way he sings. Simon said “it’s like a dog meowing. It just shouldn’t do that.” He reluctantly agreed though in the end when the other two judges voted Pritchard in, and said “I haven’t got a bloody clue, but you’re through.” I’m definitely a fan of this show and their very talented, quirky contestants.

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9 Responses to “Soprano singing guy, Greg Pritchard, steals the show on Britains Got Talent”

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  1. Laura says:

    He was wow.

  2. Trillion says:

    Talent aside, he looks like Gina Gershon with Adnan’s douchestache.

  3. mark says:

    I wonder if this ‘guy’ is just a Female to Male Transexual…

  4. Gena says:

    Reminds me of one of my absolute favorites, Klaus Nomi. Cool! So, it’s not so weird for me to see. Klaus was a different sort of guy who had an absolutely beautiful voice.

  5. Kat says:

    For those who are ignorant when it comes to the range of male singing voices, its called a COUNTERTENOR! If you’ve never listened to Freddy Mercury, you’ve been living under a rock. Greg’s voice is nothing new, but it’s great he was able to make it to the auditions.

  6. Lisa says:

    It’s nothing new, no, but it was still completely unexpected, and definitely not something that is heard very often in mainstream circles like this! I liked him.

  7. just me says:

    I don’t understand how musical professionals, such as those on the panel, could have never encountered the concept of a countertenor-? They seemed genuinely flabbergasted, though, so I’m left rather confused myself.

  8. Thomas says:

    He’s been the best act so far – I would say he rivals Pavarotti for male opera singers. If you listen to Paul Potts, he’s got good range, good control, and a sweet voice. He sounds good and all. But unlike Pavorotti he lacks emotion when he sings. If Potts sings O’ Sole Mio, are you going to cry because you’re reminded of your girlfriend? Nope. Boyle didn’t really have so much emotion, either. The BIG difference is that this guy has emotion. This guy seemed to really feel his notes, and that was the difference. If they can get by the fact he’s male, he’s the best by far. I would like to hear him sing “Memory” or “O Sole Mio” for the finals. It takes real emotion to pull one of those off.

  9. Gentry says:

    Countertenors are also very rare. Which is probably why they were astonished. You just don’t get those wandering around and auditioning for TV singing contests every day, you know.

    That said, his voice hurts my ears. A lot. Not that he can’t sing, but GAWD, please come down out of the stratosphere, boy. Join us on planet Earth, if you please.