Former winner Abi Garrido is proof of just how great our Young Performer of the Year competition can be for rising talent.
The Jarrow songstress won the title in 2012, and now she is urging other would-be stars to have a go for themselves.
Applying back in 2012 and then going on to win was the best thing I’ve ever done and I haven’t look back since. You never know where it could lead as I’ve just finished supporting Olly Murs at the ArenaAbi Garrido
Since her triumph, the 18-year-old has performed numerous times at Bents Park, South Shields, for the South Tyneside Summer Festival.
The talented songwriter has also sang at Christmas lights switch-on events throughout the region and signed an international management deal with company RU: Listening.
Last year, she won a contest to perform at the Metro Radio Arena, in Newcastle, as part of a star-studded line-up.
She said: “If you’re thinking about applying for Young Performer of the Year, I’d say ‘go for it 100%’.
“Applying back in 2012 and then going on to win was the best thing I’ve ever done, and I haven’t look back since.
“You never know where it could lead, as I’ve just finished supporting Olly Murs at the Arena.
“It was a great experience and I also made some lifelong friends.”
The category, sponsored by Port of Tyne, is searching for outstanding young contestants to follow in the footsteps of previous winners including Abi, as well as X Factor champions Joe McElderry and Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall.
We’re hoping to watch a whole host of new talent in this year’s contest. It will be open for entries until the deadline of Monday, April 4.
After that, all the Young Performer finalists will get to perform at the Customs House in South Shields on Monday, April 18.
Judges will choose three contestants from the night, who will go on to a shortlist. They will perform again at the finale of the Best of South Tyneside awards at the Quality Hotel, in Boldon, on Thursday, June 9.
That’s when we will reveal who has won this year’s crown.
Now all we need are lots of entrants to make this year’s Young Performer category, sponsored by Port of Tyne, another memorable competition.
l To enter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com