Yakub Saunders

After a nervous wait, the talented young dancer is back on our screens having been picked for BGT’s semi-final 

Our favourite pocket rocket is back on the BGT stage wowing judges with a moving performance to Elton John’s Can You Feel the Love? Ashley Banjo’s socks were blown right off as Yakub flipped and spun his way through a confident and touching performance. Yakub’s ‘buzzing to be back’ and managing to keep his nerves in check. He says: “I’m so excited. It’s the biggest and best thing I have ever done in my life.”

You might remember Yakub initially took to the Britain’s Got Talent stage in Brum with an explosive routine that left the judges agog. Aged just 10-years-old at the time, Yakub’s high energy moves to the Lion King’s He Lives in You lit up the Hippodrome. Four unquestioning nods from the judges were met with a quiet ‘thank you’ before Yakub headed off stage to hug his proud foster carer, Juliet.

It was Juliet who nurtured Yakub’s talent enrolling him at Mezzo Dance Company in Harborne and Stratford shortly after fostering him and his sister. Before then, Yakub had never danced in an official setting, but Juliet thought the siblings would benefit from the focus dance requires as well as building friendships and ultimately having fun. It turns out Yakub is naturally gifted and took to it straight away.


Despite having only a couple of lessons a week, Yakub trains non-stop at home on the tumble track in the garden. Juliet says that, taking into account the time Yakub trains at home, he probably racks up around 12 hours. Having never danced in front of anything like the 4,000-strong crowd, Yakub’s nerves got the better of him in his dummy run at the initial BGT audition, but he rose to the occasion in his actual performance and nailed it receiving a standing ovation. Obviously Yakub’s dance teachers are incredibly proud of him. Teacher, Adam says: “Yakub has always had that spark – he just needed to believe in himself a bit more. To have such an amazing talent at only 10 years of age is incredible.  It is so rewarding for us to see one of our dancers do so well. We really believe in him and believe that he can go all the way in this competition. He deserves it. He is the hardest working little lad.”

Having had to persuade social services that it was a good idea for Yakub to enter the competition, Juliet was keen for BGT to be a positive experience whatever happened and thankfully it was. She says that everyone on the show has been lovely and particularly Ant and Dec are brilliant with Yakub backstage, so she can breathe a big sigh of relief.


After his semi-final performance, judge Ashley Banjo told Yakub: “You have everything apart from one thing – a little bit of self-belief.” Juliet thinks BGT has made a massive difference to Yakub’s confidence. She says: “Yakub has had an amazing BGT journey so far and making the semi-final has completely boosted his confidence and he’ll give it his all!”

In his first audition, Yakub was asked by Alesha Dixon if he thought he could win the competition to which he quickly replied, ‘no’, but we reckon he’s got every chance and we’ll be cheering him on virtually from the edge of our sofa no doubt with leaky eyes!