Even if you’re not a fan of Britain’s Got Talent, you need to check out this performance of Stars from the musical Les Misérables in 2014. The song was the choice of a band named Collabro, made up of five friends named Michael Auger, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan, Thomas J. Redgrave and Richard Hadfield.
When judge Alesha Dixon questioned them, they admitted they’d only been together for a month. Simon Cowell was shown rolling his eyes and there were sideways looks from David Walliams and Amanda Holden too. It appears the panel were not expecting all that much from Collabro. It’s lucky they didn’t say anything as they’d have had to eat their words!
When Alesha asked them what made them think they had what it took to win the competition after only a month Matthew cheekily quipped, “Natural chemistry I think”. Then they began to sing and Simon’s eyes widened in shock. Richard sings first and his voice is deep, mellow and perfectly controlled. It would not sound out of place on stage in the West End.
The rest of the band joins in at different places and all of their voices are stunning. They sound like they had been singing together for a decade at least, not a month. Their number ends with a standing ovation and thunderous applause from the judges and the audience. Eventually, Amanda Holden speaks. She tells the boys they’ve moved her to tears because she was so proud of them. She tells them their performance was “bloody brilliant”.
Simon tells them that when they came out he thought, “Here we go again, another boyband” He admits he was not expecting what they delivered. David Walliams said their performance was flawless and Alesha called it one of the strongest auditions she’s ever seen. They were unanimously put through to the next round. From there the talented quintet romped through the remaining stages and ultimately won with a significant percentage of audience votes.
Directly after the show Collabro signed with Simon Cowell’s label Syco Music. They released their debut album, Stars, which went immediately to number 1 on the UK charts. The years that followed were very successful for the band. They moved from Syco Music to Sony Masterworks in 2015 and released their second album, Act 2. It went in at number 2 and they celebrated its success with another UK tour, before embarking on a tour of Canada, the US and Japan.
Sadly, Richard Hadfield chose to leave the band at this point. His departure seemed amicable and did not stop the band from releasing their third album, Home. This third album was a return to their musical theatre roots as their first two had been more poppy in flavour. The album only reached number seven and although they continued to tour their popularity waned.
Their final albums didn’t reach higher than number 22 and in August 2022 they announce their upcoming tour would be a farewell, with the band going their separate ways after. Their moment in the spotlight may not have been as long as the boys would have wished, but no one can deny their talent. If you would like to see more from Collabro, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel.