BRITAIN’S Got Talent finalist Hollie Steel’s dance tutor has insisted criticism of her parents and the show’s producers is unjust after accusations they failed to protect the 10-year-old.
Ofcom received hundreds of complaints following the Huncoat schoolgirl’s heart-rending TV semi-final appearance, in which she burst into tears after forgetting her words.
Hollie seized a dramatic reprieve from judge Simon Cowell to give a composed and courageous rendition of ‘Edelweiss’, but her distress prompted calls for a ban on youngsters being allowed to enter such intense competitions.
The final attracted 19 million TV viewers.
Children’s minister Delyth Morgan has announced a consultation and review into Children’s Entertainment Regulations following concerns from local authorities and the entertainment sector.
KLF Dance Academy owner Kathy Foster has taught Hollie for five years and claims we should not be fooled by the young singer’s tender years and tiny frame.
Kathy, who lives in Accrington, said: "I was there when it happened on the semi-final night and she was fine. It was just one of those things that can happen to adults as well. If they’re going into this line of work they have to put up with this all the time. She has experience and has done lots of productions so the pressure isn’t entirely new.
"The criticism has been unfair. Her mum just did what a mum would do and her natural maternal instincts came out."
The Oakhill College pupil was praised for her gutsy comeback by Piers Morgan while Cowell called her "officially the bravest girl in the world" before putting her into the final, which was eventually won by dance act Diversity.
Hollie’s semi-final received 331 complaints, but the vast majority felt her reprieve was unfair on the other contestants.