BGT golden buzzer: what does it mean, how many times has it been pressed in series?

Britain’s Got Talent will have a record number of golden buzzers in 2023

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Britain’s Got Talent has returned for a brand new series.

Scores of fresh hopefuls are competing for their chance to win the title and perform at the Royal Variety Performance later this year. The auditions took place earlier in 2023 and will be featured in the early weeks of the competition.

BGT has seen a big shake-up this year with David Walliams departing the judging panel for the first time since he joined in 2012, after being caught on mic making derogatory statements about contestants. He has been replaced by former Strictly Come Dancing judge Bruno Tonioli.

The auditions will also see the return of the golden buzzer for 2023. Judges are able to use the special button on acts that they truly love, but also the audience also got a golden buzzer - Simon Cowell has revealed.

What does the golden buzzer mean?

First introduced in the eigth series of Britain’s Got Talent, the golden buzzer gives the judges the chance to send an act straight through to the live semi-finals later in the show. It means that audiences will get to see the act at least one more time.

During the auditions the judges give the acts either a yes or no - those who receive a majority of yes votes will go through to the next stage. However despite getting through the judges auditions, plenty of acts will not make the cut for the semi-finals.

The golden buzzer is then particularly coverted by acts as it gives them a guarantee that they will make it through to the semi-finals.

Britain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITVBritain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITV
Britain’s Got Talent golden buzzer. Picture: ITV

How many golden buzzers will there be in 2023?

Simon Cowell has revealed that during the auditions this year there were eight golden buzzers. It is the most in the history of the show!

The judge told The Sun: “There were more Golden Buzzers this year. We have eight. I don’t want to give too much away but there was one Golden Buzzer moment.

“I think in all the years, I’ve done this show because, you know, it wasn’t really supposed to happen because we run out [of buzzers].” It was kind of chaotic at this moment because the audience really dictated it, they did not let this go [for this act].

“They’re not going to leave. So we kind of said you know what, why don’t we just give the audience a Golden Buzzer.”

How many times has it been pressed so far?

The judges have pressed the golden buzzer twice in the opening two episodes of the series - aired on 15 April and 16 April.

New judge Bruno Tonioli was the first to press the big gold button after being impressed by a children’s dance group from Uganda. The second Golden Buzzer of the series went to Malakai Bayoh after Cowell pressed the button for the angelic performance to Pie Jesu, which is usually sung for a Requiem Mass.

How many times has the golden buzzer been used previously?

In 2023, eight acts will receive the golden buzzer it has been revealed. But how many times has it been used prior to that?

It has been a feature since the eigth season in 2014 and had been pressed five times in each series since its introduction. So prior to 2023 it had been used 40 times - the number will rise to 48 following the conclusion of this year’s judges auditions.

Has anyone had a golden buzzer and won the show?

The golden buzzer just gives an act safe passage to the semi-finals - they still have a long way to go if they want to win the show. But it has been successfully achieved.

However it took until series 14 in 2020 for a golden buzzer act to win the whole show, with comedy singer Jon Courtenay achieving the feat. He was then followed in series 15, released in 2022, by comedian Axel Blake who also won after receiving the golden buzzer.