Britain's Got Talent: Jai McDowall beats Ronan Parke
- 5 June 2011
- From the section Entertainment & Arts
Scottish singer Jai McDowall has been crowned the surprise winner of this year's Britain's Got Talent, beating favourite Ronan Parke.
An average of 12.5m viewers saw the 24-year-old from Ayrshire win the £100,000 prize and a place at this year's Royal Variety Performance.
McDowall said he felt "absolutely amazing, absolutely fantastic," after winning the public vote.
Judge Simon Cowell said he thought the singer was "a worthy winner".
Viewing figures peaked during the results show at 13.1m, while an average of 11.4m watched the 10 finalists perform earlier, according to initial figures.
The average for this year's final was lower than last year where 13.5m tuned in to see gymnastic troupe Spelbound win the competition.
Twelve-year-old Parke, from Norwich, had been a favourite among the judges who praised his "perfect" performance of Kelly Clarkson's Because of You.
But it was McDowall, who sang To Where You Are by Josh Groban, who won over the public.
"We said tonight there was going to be a shock result," Cowell said.
"He wasn't one of the favourites coming in but tonight we could feel he nailed the song. He came in believing that he could win."
Fellow judge Amanda Holden said: "I'm not disappointed. Of course I'm thrilled for Jai but I have to say that I really wanted Ronan to win."
McDowall's performance earned high praise from the judges, with Cowell telling him: "This was you at your best."
Holden said it was "another very powerful performance" while Michael McIntyre predicted the whole of Scotland would be behind him.
David Hasselhoff added: "You sang beautifully man."
After being announced the runner-up, Parke said: "I would like to say thank you to everyone who voted. Thank you so much. Congratulations Jai as well."
Teen boy band New Bounce - Mitchell Zhangazha, 16, Kuan Fyre, 14, MJ Sanneh, 13, and James Anderson, 12 - came third in the competition, while Romanian dancer Razy Gogonea, 29, finished fourth.
The other finalists included singer Michael Collings, pianists Jean Martyn and Paul Gbegbaje, dancers James Hobley and Steven Hall and impersonator Les Gibson.
The final on Saturday came after Cowell dismissed as "utter lies" claims the show was fixed.
An anonymous blogger claimed Parke was known to Cowell and already had a management deal.
Cowell called in police to investigate what he called a "deliberate smear campaign".
Parke himself dismissed the claims and said the only coaching he had received was from his singing teacher in Norwich.