Diversity proclaim 'Black Lives Matter' in powerful BGT semi-final performance

Ashley Banjo and Diversity perform a poignant routine about Black Lives Matter on tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent semi-final.

Banjo replaces Simon Cowell on the judging panel tonight as the head judge recovers from a broken back.

And in a powerful performance, the dancer returned to the stage with the troupe that won BGT over a decade ago in a routine that tells the story of 2020 through a ‘remix’ of Tomfoolery’s viral poem The Great Realisation. 

The routine starts with a young boy asking Ashley to tell the story of the virus, with the dancer then sharing what the world was like before the pandemic – ‘a world of waste and wonder, of poverty and plenty’.

While the original poem discusses how the pandemic made us all start talking to each other again and letting old habits die, Diversity concentrated on the Black Lives Matter movement, sparked by the death of George Floyd in the US. 

Discussing lockdown, the lyrics changed to: ‘But while we all were hidden, under orders of the Prime Minister, people dusted off their instincts and noticed something more sinister. Another disease, deep rooted in our system, fear, hate and ignorance, but racism was the symptom.’

Banjo got down on the floor with his hands behind his back, while a white police officer kneeled over him, as people began filming the incident.

Ashley then proclaimed: ‘What we thought we knew, some clearly didn’t – Black Lives Matter.’

The dance troupe, including Perri Kiely, proceeded to take the knee, before Dax’s Black Lives Matter began playing, featuring the chorus: ‘I can’t breathe.’

During the routine, the dancers were surrounded by ‘police’ holding up shields, with sirens playing in the background.

The performance is set to make viewers emotional when the semi-final airs tonight – the show’s return after it was forced to suspend the semi-finals due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The show will go ahead without an in-studio audience – instead, the judges sit in front of a wall of viewers watching from home.

Dance act Urban Turtles, father and son magician duo James and Dylan Piper, singer Imen Siar, dancer Yakub, magician James Stott, choir SOS From The Kids, singer Faith Ifil and comic Steve Royle will all be competing for a place in the grand final. 

Britain’s Got Talent returns tonight on ITV at 8pm. 

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