Mark McMullan provided the highlight of Saturday’s Britain’s Got Talent, when he performed a touching tribute to his disabled brother.
Mark, from Belfast, sang an emotional rendition of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables in Saturday night’s episode of the programme, after explaining that the track is was very personal to him and his family because of his brother’s disability.
“Nearly six years ago, my older brother took sick from a brain injury,” he said.
“He’s here today but he was left with a condition called locked-in syndrome – he’s trapped inside his own body, the only thing he can do is hear, so my music became a big comfort for him.”
Mark’s performance moved members of the audience to tears and the judges praised him highly for his “poignant” effort.
Amanda Holden said: “You have the most gorgeous tone and quality to your voice; when you listen to the words and you know the background of your story, it just made so much sense and was so much more poignant, it was beautifully done.”
Simon Cowell added: “He is lucky to have a brother like you, you brought meaning to that song that I hadn’t thought about before.
“You managed to combine a real tenderness with that song with a strength in the second half of the performance.”
The fifth episode of Britain’s Got Talent also saw judge David Walliams being hoisted into the air by a performer’s mouth.
Duo Julia and Alex from Coventry and Ukraine – known as A&J – put on an acrobatics display that saw them using a rope to perform dangerous moves in the air.
One of the moves saw Alex positioned upside down with a rope in his mouth as Julia hung onto it, spinning freely high above the stage.
David, curious to see if it was possible to do with his heavier weight, was invited to hop on stage and try it himself.
Alex managed to lift Walliams several inches off the stage, much to the judges’ amusement.
A&J were also given four yeses, sending them through to the next stage of the competition.
Other successful acts included comical children’s entertainer Graeme Mathews, from Essex, and a group of dancers aged seven to 18, called Iconic, who paid tribute to pop acts such as Madonna, Bruno Mars, Whitney Houston and PJ & Duncan, Ant and Dec’s former musical duo.
There was also a troupe of female dancers and illusionists from the Netherlands, Angels Inc, who made dancers miraculously appear on stage during their powerful routine.
David dubbed Angels Inc as “the Pussycat Dolls of magic” and that it was a performance “for the dads” as they received four yeses from the judges.
Alesha Dixon said: “This is not just for the dads – this is for everyone because girls will be watching you, rooting you on.
“It’s so lovely to see a big group of girls killing it on stage and it makes me feel proud to be a woman.”
Each of the acts who are through to the next round will be hoping to make it to the live semi-finals in order for a chance to win a cash prize and a place at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.
Britain’s Got Talent continues on ITV next Saturday.