‘Beat this’ is the gauntlet Blackpool dancer Jon Ward is laying down to the competition on tonight’s Britain’s Got Talent semi final.
The 23-year-old performer was seen with the Beat Brothers on last Saturday’s show securing their place in this week’s live shows and will be up first in tonight’s broadcast.
Now he hopes to ‘tap’ into the Blackpool community for votes to help them reach Sunday’s final - alongside fellow resort performer Jules O’Dwyer and dancing dog Matisse, who secured their spot by winning Tuesday’s semi.
The five hunks donned swish tail suits to tap dance to It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) on silver podiums.
But Jon, from Thornton, is under orders to keep tonight’s plans a secret.
“Rehearsals are going well,” he said. “We don’t get to the studio stage until today and will probably only have a little practise time then it’s live on the night.”
Jon trained in dance at Barbara Jackson Theatre School, and attended Montgomery High School and Blackpool Sixth Form College, where he gained a double distinction in performing arts, before winning a scholarship place at the prestigeous Performers College in Essex.
The Beat Brothers won praise for their refreshing approach to dancing on the show - which attracts scores of street and hip hop performers, hoping to follow in the footsteps of past winners Diversity.
Judge Amanda Holden could scarcely contain her excitement at their first audition, screaming ‘Yes’ when they told the audience they were going to tap dance.
And she was just as happy after their routine, saying: “Five good-looking boys. I thought it was brilliantly entertaining.”
David Walliams also backed them, saying they were a refreshing change in the competition: “It’s great. It’s something I don’t think we’ve had on this show. Think you’ve got a lot of appeal guys.”
And after comments about perhaps losing the shirts and suits for future performance, Jon’s also giving nothing away.
“It could, potentially, happen, but viewers will have to see,” he teased. “The feedback has been crazy, family and friends are really excited to watch us and people I grew up with have been back in touch and supportive.”
So how does he fancy their chances of a place in the final?
“We are the only tap act, which is a pro and a con, but we’re certainly something different and something to TV.
“People see tap as an old genre, and we kind of know that and have gone with it while trying to also make it modern. All I can say is it will be in keeping with the jazz feel and in a similar style to the audition.”
Proud mum and dad, Eileen and Bryan are heading down to the capital for the show, and hope to be staying for the weekend.
“They only got together at the beginning of the year, after hearing the show was looking for contestants,” Bryan said. “Jon’s mainly worked abroad since graduating from Performers College in Essex in 2013, and in between times he’s worked in a pub and as a labourer.
“They seem to have struck a chord though, so it should be good - although the nerves are jangling.”