When Jonathan Antoine walked onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage just over four years ago, he achieved something quite rare and brilliant… making Simon Cowell eat his words.
The TV show judge’s face had given away the fact he didn’t expect much of the desperately shy teenager and his then singing partner Charlotte Jaconelli.
But once they started singing The Prayer, a song made famous by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion, the audience rose to their feet, the judges looked on in awe, and their audition became one of those ‘TV Moments’. Almost 10 million people have since watched it on YouTube.
They went on to finish as runners up, and released two hit albums before going their separate ways.
“For the most part, people who stop me in the street know me from Britain’s Got Talent,” says Antoine, currently preparing to release his third solo album, Believe, on August 19.
“People at my shows are a mixture of fans from Britain’s Got Talent and people who’ve become fans of my albums. But yeah, I do get stopped. I love it.”
He says appearing on BGT – despite admitting to not really taking in what was happening until he stood in front of Cowell and co – was a wonderful experience.
“I got to meet great people, I got to see how TV works, I got to do the thing I love in front of millions of people, and I came off at the end with a career.”
Watching the series, where you might see a pair of opera singers next to a dancing dog or a fire-eater, it’s not always clear how the act is going to be turned into a career.
Antoine, however, has barely stopped working, releasing his debut solo album, Tenore, in October 2014, and going on his first solo tour last year.
“I’m enjoying being on my own,” he says. “I have a team with me – my parents and sister, for a start – and I like the repertoire a lot more. The songs I’m singing, I think they’re more me and I’m really enjoying performing them.”