The Talented Rise of George Sampson--Actor and Street Dancer

A street dancer and actor from Warrington, England--George (William) Sampson--entered “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2007 when his dance teacher told him local auditions were taking place. He auditioned dancing to “Drop.” Even though Simon Cowell wanted to move him into the semi finals, George didn’t make the cut. The experience, however, made the sixteen-year-old determined to re-enter by auditioning in 2008. He used the intervening year dancing on Manchester’s streets, improving his technique, and making money to help his family.

Sampson danced to “Rock This Party (Everybody Dance Now)” at the 2008 audition to get on “Britain’s Got Talent” for the second time. A remix of “Singin’ in the Rain” arranged by Mint Royale’s big beat (with an artificial rain machine) brought him the highest audience vote in the semi-final. The seventeen-year-old broke into tears when he won the finals by performing his semi-final routine one more time.

Following Sampson’s win, that version of “Singin’ in the Rain” skyrocketed to number one on UK download sales within a week. Fans inundated SyCo (Simon Cowell’s) label to make a video of the performance. Sampson’s life didn’t revert to “normal” after his “Britain’s Got Talent” win.

George Sampson was first offered a deal (worth about £1million) to act as icon for NatWest Bank’s new program of accounts aimed at 11-18 year olds. Life just got better when Sampson debuted on the live stage in the West End. August of 2008, he began work in “Into the Hoods”, a hip-hop musical. The show played at the Novello Theatre in London, featuring music from Massive Attack, Gorillaz, Basement Jaxx and others. Sampson appeared in the show throughout the month playing the part of one of the lost boys.

By November 2008, SyCon and Bebo worked together making a show for online television titled “Follow My Lead.” The show included tutorials on some of his dance moves, and behind the scenes rehearsals and events. That same month, Sampson’s first debut single and DVD was released. “Get Up on the Dance Floor/Headz Up” included not just dancing by George Sampson, but vocals also. He donated the proceeds from the release to Great Ormond Street Hospital. George’s single debuted in the 30th spot on the UK Singles Chart and it stayed for 4 weeks on the list.

Ending an extremely busy year, “Access 2 All Areas” was released. This one-hour dance DVD included the story of his rise to stardom, George singing and dancing on four music videos, and extra back stage production scenes of the dance tutorials and some of Sampson’s personal photographs.

The new year began with Sampson assisting Nokia in their promotion of the new Nokia 5800 cell phones in Regent Street, London. He personally presented the first phone sold and then performed live on a touch-sensitive dance floor. He choreographed his routine to “Pump up the Volume” remixed by VV Brown. By March George hosted “Street Dance Weekend” at the Alton Towers Resort with street crew Flava. Sampson gave a workshop where fans could learn the moves of one of his street dances. He also acted as patron of “Dance Aid” sponsored by the UK Charity, “Hope for Children.”

The CBBC Newsround Special, “Whose Side Are You On?” featured George Sampson among other celebrities speaking out against bullying in schools. Sampson related how he had been bullied when he was a youngster. Next he agreed to join the cast of the BBC drama, “Waterloo Road.” The character he played: Kyle Stack, would appear as a sixth form student in the second half of the sixth series.