BGT in 'fix' row as finalists The Loveable Rogues admit they were hand-picked by producers to audition for judges

By Paul Revoir

Britain's Got Talent faces fresh 'fix' allegations after a band that have made it through to the final admitted they were hand-picked to appear on the show.

Despite the fact that most viewers assumed The Loveable Rogues were going through a normal audition process, it has emerged that they had been specially chosen by producers to appear in front of judges.

TV bosses had spotted them on YouTube and asked them to come along. The three-piece act won the audience vote on Tuesday's semi-final and are now in Saturday night's final.

The Loveable Rogues: Sonny, Te Eugene and Eddie Brett and Molly Rainford appeared on This Morning. They admitted they had been picked out to see the judges

But speaking yesterday they admitted they were contacted by producers to take part in the show, having not really considered entering the series before that.

They were first seen earlier on in the series when their audition saw judges raving about them.

A clue to the fact that the group, who performed self-penned song Lovesick, had been lined up before-hand to take part, was seen when TV cameras had shown them driving to their audition, when they first appeared on the show, earlier in the series.

Last night show sources defended the practice saying it had 'cast its net wider this year' and researchers had found out about talent 'via many routes'.

But they added that the judges had not been aware of how they had entered the competition.

The band let the controversial practice slip when they were being interviewed about their success on the show.

The band were approached after BGT produces saw their video on YouTube

'Banging!': Essex boy band Loveable Rogues look thrilled as they get through to the semi-final... but was it all planned?

One of the group, Te, said: 'They were supportive, we told them we wanted to do our own song and we didn't have any issues. I think they knew from the gist of our band and from YouTube, that it'd work'

When asked if they had been approached band member Eddie said: 'Yeah we did.'

Fellow band member Sonny added: 'We never really thought about doing shows like this, but obviously an opportunity came along and it would be silly not to.'

Te added: 'They knew who we were and what we're trying to do, and they supported that.'

Quintessentially English: The boys charmed views with their self-penned tracks

Eddie said: 'Simon Cowell is a massive influence in the music industry, and one of the biggest people at what he does. It was fantastic at the audition, we knew from that point forward he knew who we are, so that was a big deal.'

Sonny added: 'The audition in front of the judges was the first one that we'd actually done.'

An insider on the show defended the practice saying it was not 'fast-tracking' any acts and that the judges had not been aware how they had got there.

Britain's Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, David Walliams and Alesha Dixon

They added that talent had been contacted by 'many routes' after researchers were made aware through things such as word of mouth, internet searches, open auditions and events.

Producers are also understood to have looked a show-reels which had been submitted.
They added: 'Every act is auditioned on their merits.'

A show spokesman said: 'To ensure we leave no stone unturned in our search for the best talent, we let people know about auditions in lots of ways - from ads in local papers to fliers distributed at festivals.

'As part of this normal process, we may inform some acts about the auditions. These acts still have to apply and go through the same process as every other act.

'All acts are auditioned on their own merits and the judges then decide who goes through to the live shows.'