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Diversity

© Jamie Davies
Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0 ]
Diversity are an English street dance troupe formed in 2006 and based in London. They are best known for winning the third series of Britain's Got Talent in 2009, famously beating singer Susan Boyle in the live final. They also won the Families United Positive Role Models at the Spirit of London Awards. Formed in 2006, Diversity consists of friends from London (Leytonstone and Dagenham) and Essex (Basildon), including three sets of brothers and four other members. At the time they appeared on Britain's Got Talent some were still at school or university, while others had jobs of their own. The group, ranging in age from 17 to 28, consists of leader and choreographer Ashley Banjo and the following other members: Jordan Banjo, Sam Craske, Mitchell Craske, Perri Kiely, Warren Russell, Ike Ezekwugo, Terry Smith and Ashton Russell. One set of brothers have left which are; Ian McNaughton, Jamie McNaughton and Matthew McNaughton. --- Diversity formed in 2006 and were initially known as "Swift Moves" and then "Menace". the group consists of friends from east London (Leytonstone and Dagenham) and Essex (Basildon), including three sets of brothers and four other members. Some are still at school or university, but also have jobs of their own. The group, ranging in age from 16 to 28, consists of leader and choreographer Ashley Banjo and the following other members: Jordan Banjo, Sam Craske, Mitchell Craske, Perri Kiely, Warren Russell, Ike Ezekwugo, Terry Smith and Ashton Russell. One set of brothers have left which are; Ian McNaughton, Jamie McNaughton and Matthew McNaughton. Ashley grew up in Wickford, Essex with his younger brother, Jordan and his sister Talisa. He is currently studying natural sciences at Queen Mary University, after having completed his first two years, he has taken a break from studying to concentrate on his dancing. He said that "from the age of 14, I started to teach myself routines". They also have a Twitter account which was originally named "Diversity BGT", but was then changed to "Diversity_Tweet". They are currently managed by Ashley's mother, Danielle. In their first year together, Diversity beat KI (the crew Marlon Wallen from Flawless was with) during KI's second run to seven wins at The Jump Off where Swift Moves battled a total of four times. They also won the Street Dance Weekend 2007 competition before deciding to enter Britain's Got Talent. --- In 2009, Diversity auditioned in London for the third series of Britain's Got Talent. Judge Amanda Holden said: "Just when I think I've seen it all, you came on." They received three "yeses" from Holden, Piers Morgan and Simon Cowell, and eventually progressed to the live semi-finals, where they opened the first show on 24 May. After their performance, they received a standing ovation from the audience and the judges, who all dubbed their performance "fantastic". Later that night, were in the top 3 with singers Natalie Okri and Susan Boyle. Boyle was revealed to have received the most votes and went straight through to the live final, meaning that the judges would choose between Okri and Diversity for the second spot in the final. Morgan and Cowell both voted in favour of Diversity - Morgan believed that Diversity had a better chance of winning the show and Cowell admitted that he had been "a huge fans" of Diversity from their first audition. Following their performance in the final, Holden said she thought Diversity had "blown Flawless out of the water", while Cowell said that "If I had to give marks on that, this would be the only performance tonight I would give a 10 to." However, Morgan thought Flawless "just edged [Diversity]." They finished in the top 3 again, as did Boyle, along with saxophonist Julian Smith. In a shock result, in front of a record audience of 17.3 million viewers, Diversity were announced as the winners, despite Boyle being the clear favourite to win.

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