Stunned: Scottish singer Jai McDowall was lost for words when he spoke to Declan Donnelly after winning the 2011 series of Britain's Got Talent
He was tipped as the 'dark horse' in the competition by judge Amanda Holden.
And tonight singer Jai McDowell became the shock winner of this year's Britain's Got Talent.
The 24-year-old Scot beat bookies favourite, singer Ronan Parke and third place New Bounce to the £100,000 prize and will perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance later this year.
The final was so close - McDowall just beat Parke by just 2.5 per cent more votes.
Shock: The disability support worker is visibly amazed when he beats Ronan Parker (left) to first place
A stunned McDowall, a disability support worker from the Ayrshire village of Tarbolton, was lost for words, telling hosts Ant and Dec: 'I feel absolutely amazing, fantastic... it's so much more.'
Proving a gracious loser was 12-year-old Parke, who said: 'I loved it, thank you to everyone who voted. Congratulations Jai.'
McDowall was one of the last acts to perform, singing Josh Groban's To Where You Are.
Supportive: McDowall gives Parke a hug after winning the title
Cowell said: 'That was you at your best. I love that song. For the first time throughout the competition believing you could win. I don't think the vocal was perfect, it was a little bit monotone... it was still terrific.
Hasselhoff told him: 'You sang beautifully man. You sang with your heart and your heart was beautiful.'
McIntyre added: 'I love your voice, I love your passion. You do seemed very stressed. You should be very proud of yourself.'
Hard to impress: While all of the other judges loved Jai's act, Cowell told him 'it was a little bit monotone... it was still terrific'
Waiting game: McDowall, Parke and boy band New Bounce wait to hear who has won
Holden tipped him as a possible surprise winner, even though she later admitted she wanted Ronan to win: 'Another very powerful performance. You could be the dark horse in this competition.'
Cumbrian telecommunication engineer Steven Hall, 53, was the first to perform during the two-hour final.
He paid briefly homage to hosts Ant and Dec by starting his dance to a line from Let's Get Ready To Rumble - their 1994 single released under their former pop act PJ & Duncan.
His remaining performance was to a mash-up of around 20 different songs from the 50s to present day.
Hasselhoff told him: 'You could win this. I loved it. Very entertaining. Very confident performance and very funny.'
That's entertainment: Cumbrian telecommunications engineer Steven Hall opened the show with a comedic dance to a mash-up of songs from across the decades
McIntyre was equally enthusiastic: 'You've gone from strength to strength. The Beyonce bit I think I'll love for the rest of my life. When it comes to dancing, you could be the biggest threat.'
Holden added: I love you. I could watch you all night. You are up there with Stavros Flatley. I'm gonna book you.'
Last but not least was Cowell: 'I thought that was absolutely fantastic. You really are taking it serious. Your lip-syncing was very good.'
Big production: Hall was accompanied by a large troupe of dancers for his flamboyant mash-up
When Steven was interviewed by Ant and Dec, he could barely be heard after admitting he'd lost his voice from all the cheering when he was chosen in the semi-final.
Singer/guitarist Michael Collings was the second to perform after he qualified in the last semi-final on Friday night.
The father-of-one, 19, performed Tracy Chapman classic Fast Car - the same track from his original audition.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it: Singer/guitarist Michael Colling, 19, reprised his first audition rendition of Tracy Chapman classic Fast Car
McIntyre - who gave Collings a standing ovation - said: 'Congratulations, I loved it. You've got better and better. Your dress sense has greatly improved.'
Holden told him: 'I love the tone of your voice. It's great for recording. It's great for making albums.'
Cowell added: 'You're not a showy type of version. It's all about your voice and connecting with the song.'
A future recording star? Holden told Collings she thought he had voice 'great for recording albums'
Hasselhoff said: 'You're such a likeable guy. You sang beautiful. We're looking at a star right now.'
Impressionist Les Gibson, 42, was the third to perform with a set inspired by Celebrity Masterchef.
Although his impression of Cowell wasn't quite on, his one of Louis Walsh garnered huge cheers from the audience.
He got the judges in hysterics when he did impressions of Hasselhoff and McIntyre - with both judges giving their approval.
Hit and miss: Impressionist Les Gibson admitted he didn't have long to prepare his act, which received a mixed response from the judging panel
Holden lamented: 'I am rooting for you. I have to be honest with you, there was some gems, I loved Michael, the Hoff and Louis, but I think you need to work on Simon.'
Cowell gave the harshest criticism: 'I sounded like Boris Karloff... I don't have a lisp. Dermot O'Leary sounded like Ross Kemp.
'You got Michael right, you got David right... I don't think the script is right. It wasn't anywhere near what it was on the semi-final.'
Hasselhoff was more encouraging: 'He's got confidence, he's got great looks, he's got great charisma. You're gonna have a huge, long career cos of this show.'
'I applaud you for taking a chance': McIntyre burst into laughters when Gibson did an impression of him
Mcintyre said: 'You shouldn't be disheartened. I applaud you for taking a chance. It was incredibly tough, you went for it. I applaud you for doing it.'
Les admitted he wasn't so well prepared as his previous performances: 'I had less time to do it. The semi-final I had a week. I only really had a day to prepare this.'
Fourth to perform was 11-year-old James Hobley, who danced to a mix of two songs, one of which was Coldplay's Fix You.
Cowell said: 'You're absolutely beautiful, you're fearless. I've never been a massive fan of individual dancing, but there's something about you.'
Stunning: Dancer James Hobley, 11, 'moved' the judges panel with his performance
Positive feedback: Ant, Dec and James listen to the judges' verdict
Hasselhoff was full of praise: 'Every time you dance you put me in a trance. Tonight you did beautifully.'
McIntyre was just as appreciative: 'You may have only had a day to get ready, but it was better than the semi-final. Without the smoke, we could focus on you and your gift.'
Holden added: 'You always touch me. You won everybody over this evening.'
Pianist Paul Gbegbaje, 19, was fifth to perform with a song he had composed himself on a grand piano.
Taking a risk: Pianist Paul Gbegbaje, 19, was fifth to perform with a song he had composed himself
Hasselhoff said: 'To be honest, I didn't think you had a chance, but tonight you proved me wrong. It got better and better and the end just blew me away. You stepped up five notches.'
McIntyre remarked: 'It was spectacular... Infinitely better than the semi-final for me.'
Holden told him: 'It was very good. You were a beautiful pianist and a great composer as well.'
Cowell admitted: 'It was a risk to perform something you composed yourself.... the risk paid off. It was absolutely brilliant.'
Small boy, big voice: Ronan Parke, 12, wowed the audience with a powerful rendition of Kelly Clarkson's Because Of You
'You nailed it': The 12-year-old received a standing ovation following his performance
Next up was bookies favourite Ronan Parke, who ended up in second place to Jai.
The 12-year-old from Norwich shrugged off recent controversy the show had been 'fixed' for him to win and received a standing ovation following his rendition of Kelly Clarkson's Because Of You.
After receiving a standing ovation from all four judges, McIntyre said: 'Ronan... seriously... that was perfect. I'm such a great fan of yours. It was perfection from the first note. It showed off how much strength you have in your voice.'
Overcome: Dec tried to reassure Ronan, who ended up breaking down on stage
Guest judge: Louis Walsh - who said yes to Ronan at his original audition - said the 12-year-old's performance made 'the hairs on the back of my neck stand up'
Holden said: 'You're a credit to your parents and to this show.'
Cowell, who vehemently denied reports this week that he had already signed up the boy to his record label, said: 'How are you Ronan, had a nice quiet week? How you've coped with everything so well as your age... this is a big, big song. You nailed it. You did brilliantly.'
He then turned to Louis Walsh in the audience who was the judge at Parke's original audition, who admitted the 'hairs stood up on the back of my neck'.
Camping it up: Jean Martyn got the audience and judges dancing with her infectious enthusiasm as she played a medley of hits on her keyboard
Parke found himself overwhelmed and, despite attempts by Ant and Dec to keep him smiling, he burst into tears.
Jean Martyn, 59, was the second pianist in the final - and the only woman - who sang You're The One That I Want - which was barely audible over the music - during her medley.
Holden enthused: 'We're the only girls here tonight. You were brilliant again. I love the campness and the sparkle and the energy.'
Out of this world: Romanian dancer Razy Gogonea, 28, had less than 24 hours to rehearse after Friday's fifth semi-final
Stepping things up: Gogonea added an extra dimension to his body-popping act with fire dancing
Cowell was slightly baffled: 'You're like musical fish 'n' chips. Something you wanna see at the end of the pier, you want to have a great time.'
McIntyre, who was spotted dancing in his seat during her act, propositioned her with an offer: 'I would like to manage you. I wasn't sure about the choreography. I didn't like the whole side thing. I preferred your semi-final, but I loved you equally.'
Romanian dancer Razy Gogonea, 28, stepped up his performance with some fire dancing, although he struggled to put out the flames towards the end.
A younger version of JLS? New Bounce put on a soulful rendition of Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine
Hasselhoff was enthusiastic: 'You were on fire tonight...fantastic.'
McIntyre appeared to enjoy the fire: 'You totally raised your game. We know all your moves now and they were excellently choreographed. But with the fire it was new dimension.'
Despite Holden's positive feedback, Cowell wasn't so impressed: 'I said in the film (VT) I wanted to see something different, but I didn't wanna see that. The end was insane. You turned from a dancer to a circus performance. In the end you couldn't put it (the fire) out.'
The final act to perform was teenage boy band New Bounce, who have been hailed as a younger version of JLS.
The group, who is comprised of Mitchell Zhangazha, 16; James Anderson, 12; Kuan Fyre, 13; and MJ Sanneh, 12; performed Bill Withers' Ain't No Sunshine.
In an attempt to 'get down with the kids', McIntyre said: 'That was sick….that is good right? You have literally gotten better again. You were sensational.'
Cowell was full of encouragement: 'I genuinely think this is a group that would work in the real world.
Leggy: Amanda Holden looked stunning in a white Ralph & Russo dress with long train
Meanwhile, Holden managed to attract plenty of praise herself for her striking outfit.
The 40-year-old actress showed off her fabulous legs in a daring, white and silver Ralph & Russo gown and glittery peep-toe shoes before taking her place at the judges' table.
She was also sporting a shorter hairstyle after her hairdresser Ben Cooke cut off a few inches and gave her a fringe just hours before the live final.
Dapper: The judges all made an effort for the grand final - although Cowell decided against the tie
She Tweeted: 'OMG! Ben Cooke has given me the chop.'
The crowd were also treated to a performance from America's Got Talent star Jackie Evancho.
The 11-year-old, who came second in last year's series the U.S. version, stunned the audience with her powerful rendition of Nessun Dorma.
Going shorter: The actress showed off a shorter hairdo after having a few inches cut off before curtain up, compared to her longer style earlier in the week (right)
Slick: The male judges looked dapper in their suits, while Holden looked stunning in a white dress
Family support: Cowell arrived at Fountain Studios in Wembley ahead of the final with his mother Julie
Glamour: American singer Nicole Scherzinger performed her new single Right There
*** Click to watch vdo clips below:
Britains got talent 2011 - Final result
Jai McDowall - Britain's got Talent Live Final 2011
Ronan Parke - Because Of You - Britain's Got Talent
New Bounce's final performance - Britain's got Talent
Razy Gogonea's final performance - Britain's Got Talent 2011
Michael Collings - Britain's Got Talent Live Final 2011
Paul Gbegbaje - Britain's Got Talent Live Final
Steven Hall FINAL Britains Got Talent 2011
James Hobley - Britain's Got Talent Live Final 2011
Les Gibson - Britain's Got Talent Live Final 2011
Jean Martyn - Britain's Got Talent Live Final