84-year-old Henry Hall and 75-year-old Malcolm White wowed the audience on Britain’s Got Talent with some old time charm while singing Frank Sinatra’s “You Make Me Feel So Young”. The pair of retired engineers showed off plenty of onstage chemistry as they sang the traditional pop tune, and displayed some gorgeous vocals that did justice to the tune by Ol’ Blue Eyes.
Simon Cowell cheekily noted that the pair of Doncaster gentlemen looked like hosts Ant and Dec “in 10 years’ time”, and with all four entertainers wearing flat caps and yucking it up together at the end, maybe he’s right – if you add several more decades. Watch the duo’s audition below, which has gained almost two million views so far.
Their audition shows that Hall and White are naturally charming and totally at ease as entertainers. The audience and judges instantly picked up on it as they walked onstage and the room was full of smiles. After the audition, the room gave the pair a well-deserved standing ovation.
Judge Amanda Holden opened the comments, saying “I loved you. I think you’ve both got great voices. You made me feel very nostalgic, and I think this is the perfect thing to put in front of the royal family at the Royal Variety.” Check out the duo’s semi-final performance in the video below, this time billed as The Pensionalities, where they gave One Direction’s “History” a swinging workover.
Alesha Dixon had warm words to say to Hall and White after their audition, saying “you guys are so warm and funny, and that was just great.” David Walliams commented next, saying “I love you too. There’s a wonderful chemistry.”
Cowell then made his quip about Ant and Dec, and said “get through to the next round – I want you to sing ‘Let’s Get Ready to Rhumble’”. For those who weren’t around in the ‘90s, Cowell was referencing Ant and Dec’s 1994 UK top 10 hit, which sounded a bit like a B-grade British Beastie Boys. Cowell then wrapped up his comments with “you’re the kind of act you feel good after seeing.”
Hall and White then got four yes votes from the judges, which sent them to the semi-finals. After their brilliant One Direction rework in the semi-finals, they progressed to the finals where they sang “When You’re Smiling” by Dean Martin. They eventually placed fifth overall in the 11th series of Britain’s Got Talent. After completing the competition, the duo continued to appear at various charity events in the years since.
Fans had plenty of praise to say about The Pensionaires’ One Direction cover, adding comments such as “They should have won. They clearly have a great deal of talent still to share. Love them and I hope they are still singing together” and “What a clever way to choose a song like this. And with a lively speed, the song was more entertaining. Full of stories from their voices!