Britain’s Got Talent finalist Tom Ball wowed judges and viewers across the nation with his incredible rendition of Rises Like a Phoenix, which crowned him the winner of last night’s semi-finals.
From his first audition, the 23-year-old teacher captured the hearts of the nation with his positive attitude and impressive voice, as he took on Sam Smith’s Bond theme Writing’s on the Wall, and blew the roof off the London Palladium right from his first few notes.
As the judges and audience were left on their feet applauding, viewers at home were quick to take to social media and compare him to Britain’s Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle.
Susan famously left the judges open-mouthed with her stunning voice during her 2009 audition for the show, which was recently voted the most iconic Britain’s Got Talent moment, when she sang I Dreamed a Dream from the stage musical Les Misérables.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk, Tom revealed how ‘privileged’ he was for the comparison to the legendary singer.
He said: ‘I keep saying privileged, but to be compared to someone as fantastic as Susan Boyle has been amazing, she’s gone on to phenomenal things.’
‘She’s a powerhouse,’ he continued.
‘So even comparing me a little bit to her, I would take that as a massive compliment.’
Susan went on to finish second on the show, behind dance troupe Diversity, and has since achieved three top 10 UK albums, releasing her eighth – Ten – in 2019.
After his first audition, Tom was actually called a ‘powerhouse’ himself by judge Amanda Holden.
She had said: ‘Who knew what a powerhouse you were? That was an exceptional audition, one of the best singers we have auditioned in the past 16 years.’
Alesha Dixon told Tom she felt ‘really moved’ by his performance, while Simon Cowell praised Tom’s personality alongside his talent.
‘There’s something very likable about you,’ he said. ‘I don’t think there’s a single person in this room who wanted you to fail.’
‘I’m so happy you came, I’m so happy,’ he added.
Tom soared through the live semi-finals last night, but was shocked when he was announced the night’s overall winner.
Reflecting on the moment, he told us: ‘You never know, when you’re standing on that stage and you’re singing and the judges are on their feet, you think, “Well I did well in the room,” and you kind of forget that people at home have to actively pull out their phone and do something in order for you to progress, and to know that enough people did that to allow me with a second chance, especially after last night’s competition was absolutely fantastic.’
The 23-year-old teacher added: ‘I’m feeling excited more than anything to sing again, that’s what I’m looking forward to.
‘I’m not going in with the mindset of winning it because I know that so far, and I’m sure it will be again tonight and tomorrow, that everyone in that final 100% deserves to be there and are fantastic, and so to just be on that stage after whoever’s just performed is a privilege in itself.’
The 23-year-old teacher was shocked when he was announced the night’s overall winner, and was later joined by comedian Eva Abley ahead of the finals this Sunday.
Eva and Tom will join operatic busker Maxwell Thorpe and 13-year-old ventriloquist Jamie Leahey in the live final, which will air on Sunday, June 5.
The winner of the BGT final will earn a prize of £250,000 as well as a spot at this year’s Royal Variety Performance.
Britain’s Got Talent continues tonight at 8pm on ITV.