12-year-old Henry Gallagher had the BGT 2015 judges and audience eating from the palm of his hand when he performed his audition song, Lightening. A self-composed track, the song tells of the moment young Henry first saw a girl he fell fast and hard for. On stage, Henry declined to give the name of the girl and admitted that his crush was secret and unrequited. He said that he didn’t even think that the girl knew who he was.
Judge Alesha Dixon asked Henry if he had the courage to ask her out. Henry replied: “No”, prompting loud oohs and ahs from the audience members who were taken by the romance of Henry’s predicament. Henry’s hope, he said, was that the girl would hear the song and want to go out with him. Ready to begin, Henry briefly adjusted his hat, gave a thumbs up to the side-stage to indicate that he was ready for the backing tape to start, and he was off. Let’s see how young Henry’s audition went:
Described in the press as “the cute kid from Wigan”, Henry’s upbeat music and lyrics about young love had the packed auditorium clapping along. Young women in the audience looked at each other and smiled. Judge David Walliams said: “She’s gonna have to go out with him now!” while Alesha Dixon commented: “I think the song could be a massive hit for him.” Needless to say, Henry got four yeses to go through to the next round. But this being BGT, there were viewers who cried foul.
Some viewers noticed that Henry’s capo moved from the 9th fret to the 1st fret. They concluded that Henry must have been given a special dispensation to perform twice. BGT responded: “Henry performed his song only once during his audition and sang and played his guitar live, moving the capo mid song. As with all performances, Henry’s act went through normal editing procedures hence the capo appearing to move.” 3 years after BGT, Henry appeared on Got What It Takes, where he made the final. Look:
Henry’s song in the final of CBBC’s Got What It Takes was another of his self-written love songs. This one was called Not Alright. Henry did not win the competition.
But what happened on BGT 2015? How did Henry Gallagher do? In the semi-final, Henry again performed Lightening. This was a strategic mistake as the judges would have preferred a different song. He did not get the judges’ vote, so even though he received more votes from the public than the golden buzzer act Entity Allstars, he did not make the finals. BGT Fandom notes: “This is the only case where the 3rd placed act from the Public Vote won the Judges Vote and advanced onto the Final and the 2nd placed act from the Public Vote lost the Judges Vote and therefore missed out on the Final in Series 9”. BGT 2015 was won by the dog act Jules O’Dwyer and Matisse.
Henry Gallagher hasn’t posted on YouTube since 2019. He turned 21 on 21 September 2023. The Music Man wishes Henry Gallagher well and wouldn’t be surprised to hear more from him. If you would like to see more from Henry Gallagher, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Facebook or Instagram.