A SOUTH Tyneside girlband just missed out on a recording contract in the final of Open Mic UK – but say they feel like winners anyway.
Singing trio La Voix – which is French for The Voice – made it to the grand final of the national contest, held at the O2’s IndigO2 venue in London.
The band, which stars Rachael Neilson, 18, Kate Goldsmith, 17, and Leigh Crutwell, 19, fought it out in the age 17 to 22 category against others aiming for the top prize.
Rachael, from Biddick Hall, South Shields, said: “The whole weekend was amazing. Just by singing at the O2, we feel like we’ve won anyway.
“When we did the soundcheck, and saw how big the room was, we couldn’t believe it. That was even scarier than singing in front of everyone on the night.”
The girls were joined by guitarist Dan Johnson, 18, from South Shields, when they performed in front of the 2,500-strong crowd.
Rachael added: “Dan is in his own band, so we’re really grateful that he took the time out to come to London with us.
“We’d love for him to keep playing with us. We’re not sure what’s next for us just yet.
“We don’t know if we’ll audition for Open Mic UK again this year, or for The X Factor. I think for now we just want a little break because we’ve been working so hard rehearsing for the final.
“And we’re looking forward to doing a few gigs around the borough.
“We’ve realised that we don’t really know that many songs that we can sing together, so doing gigs is a great way for us to learn more stuff.”
The contest, judged by people from the music industry such as Britain’s first female Radio 1 DJ, Annie Nightingale and D:Ream’s Peter Cunnah, chose winners from each of the three age categories and an overall victor.
Winner of the 16-and-under category, Shak, from London, took the competition’s top prize of a recording contract and an investment of up to £30,000.
Rachael said: “I think the judges must have been looking for an urban act. There were a lot of rappers in the contest, and they won two of the categories and the overall.
“We’re not upset that we didn’t win because we had an amazing time taking part.
“We had such a laugh and a really good time together, and it was just so amazing to be on stage at the O2. It’s something we won’t forget.
“We’re playing in a concert for the Mayor and Mayoress, and we’re hoping to get gigs at places such as Life of Riley and the Trimmer’s Arms as well.”