BRITAIN’S GOT TALENT may have felt it repeated the ‘Susan Boyle Factor’ when a 35-year-old drama teacher walked out on stage last Saturday night.
Edward Reid was turned into an “instant star” (says ABC News), is being called “a Male Susan Boyle” (Fox News) and was named Heat’s Best Act after he walked out on stage and launched into a medley of nursery rhymes in the style of Snow Patrol’s Run.
However, it isn’t a carefully crafted, multi-million pound-generating ‘reality’ show without a bit of controversial publicity. A musical comedy duo called Frisky & Mannish say they were alerted to Reid’s unusual act by multiple texts, tweets and Facebook messages as they prepared to go onstage at their own gig in Cambridge, England on Easter Saturday night.
Their official account of events is that they thought his act – putting nursery rhymes to a chart-topping tune – was just coincidentally like their longtime comedy act.
The following day, claim the pair, they realised that they had cocktails with Reid at the Glasgow Cabaret Festival in 2009 and that he was “highly complimentary” when they performed Wheels on the Bus.
The pair were asked for a comment by the Sun and said:
He’s developed his version of Run, which bears strong resemblance to our version of Wheels on the Bus, which he saw us perform at the festival back in 2009.
Of course we are not claiming we ‘own’ this genre of cabaret comedy – that is, performing twisted versions of pop songs. But there are strong links and similarities in this instance which are slightly disconcerting.
Edward Reid said he had heard of Frisky & Mannish but hadn’t copied them. Instead, he explained that he came up with his act “because I was working with a pair of twins with autism”.
In a post on their website called ‘Nursery-gate’, Frisky & Mannish say the “irony of the event” is not lost on them, “considering our repeated pilfering of the back catalogues of Britney, Bieber and Busted”.
Either way, Reid is through to the next round of BGT, the show has been given a shot of publicity in the wake of Simon Cowell’s departure from the judging panel and Frisky & Mannish note that they sold an extra CD in their website shop after Reid’s TV performance.
For now, everyone’s a winner.