TALENTED teenager Hope Billie Swan has come out on top of the Gazette’s singing competition.
The 14-year-old has been crowned the winner of our Xmas Factor contest after judges picked her out of the entries.
The Harton Technology College pupil wowed our expert panel – the loved ones of our South Tyneside X Factor champions – with her performance of Christmas track Walking In A Winter Wonderland.
Debbie Hogg, the mum of Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards, said: “Hope has fantastic control of her voice, and I think she’s going to go far if she keeps singing every day.
“It was a very hard decision though, as they were all fantastic.”
Norma Thirlwall, mum of fellow Little Mix star Jade, said: “All the entries were brilliant, but Hope was very confident in her performance and has a lovely voice.”
Hilda Joyce, grandmother of Joe McElderry, added: “Every child has the X Factor in my opinion, but in regards to the voice, I would have to choose Hope. She sings the song right through without going off-key once, and she has a lovely voice.”
After being crowned the winner, Hope was given her prize haul, made up of a signed Joe teddy bear and T-shirt, Little Mix pyjamas and a signed poster of the girls.
She said: “I’m really happy I’ve won. I came home from school and my mam told me. I couldn’t believe it.
“I told all my friends and they all said ‘well done’. They kept asking what I’d won though, but I didn’t know. Now that I’ve seen my prizes, I think they’ll be really jealous.
“I love my prizes, especially my Joe bear and my Little Mix poster – I’m going to get it framed and put it up in my bedroom.”
She added: “I interviewed Joe for my school paper once, and he was really lovely and very funny.
“I sang with Jade, too, at South Shields Town Hall for an event the Mayor was having – it was before she was in Little Mix.
“I’d love to be a singer too, just like them and Perrie, and I’m going to go for the X Factor when I’m old enough.
“I’ve auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent three times already, but I’ve never got through to see the judges. That won’t put me off though.”
Mum Debbie Swan added: “I’m really proud of her for winning. We just put the video in and hoped for the best, so I’m really pleased she won.
“It’s nice to know the judges thought she had a lovely voice. She was full of cold at the time as well.”
Xmas Factor returns later this year. To see more videos of Hope singing, go to http://www.youtube.com/scarth0