Young Performer of the Year stars shine bright

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Singers, dancers, pianists and duets - they all took the stage by storm for this year’s Best of South Tyneside Young Performer competition finals.

What a night of talent it was at the Customs House in South Shields where the 10 acts excelled in the contest which is backed by Port of Tyne.

Finalists in the Best of South Tyneside Awards Young Performer of the Year category at The Customs House, South Shields.

Finalists in the Best of South Tyneside Awards Young Performer of the Year category at The Customs House, South Shields.

Time and again, the young artistes had the audience clapping enthusiastically and at the end of the night, compere Ray Spencer told the audience: “What a lovely evening.

“We have got such a rich vein of talent we can keep digging away and find more and more.”

He added: “If you are connected to any of these young people, go home and be very proud.”

Here’s how each of the acts got on.

The Best of South Tyneside Young Performer 2017 Finals at the Customs House, South Shields.

The Best of South Tyneside Young Performer 2017 Finals at the Customs House, South Shields.

* Alice Downey, 14 - first up but she showed no nerves as she belted out I Dreamed A Dream. Judges praised the Harton Technology College student for showing a real maturity and displaying lots of emotion in her performance.

* Scarlett Summer Ford, 12 - Multi-talented Scarlett did her own song and dance routine and was congratulated by the judges for her “lovely confidence”, her “elegant performance” and for being an “absolute joy to watch.”

* David France, 12, and Sasha France, 14 - A song packed with meaning was delivered by the brother and sister act from Jarrow. They performed Where Is The Love in tribute to everyone involved in the Manchester terror attack. Sasha and her father had been at the concert where the attack happened and only missed being in the middle of it when they left the Manchester Arena slightly early.

Judges at the Customs House praised the siblings for gelling exceptionally well and for making them want to get up and dance.

Judges at the Best of South Tyneside Awards  Young Performer of the Year night.

Judges at the Best of South Tyneside Awards Young Performer of the Year night.

* Ellie Adams, 10 - An elegant dance routine was described as “thrilling” and “high energy” by the judges. They praised Ellie for keeping up the performance level from start to finish. The South Shields dancer was hailed for giving an exceptional routine.

* Simona Didiasova, 14 - Judges said creativity runs through the veins of the South Shields musician who played both the piano and saxophone in her rendition of a Korean song. Super original, quirky, and so talented were all words used by the judges to describe Simona.

* Amelia Bennett, 11 - What a soulful voice this singing sensation from South Shields has, said the judges. One of the panel said she had goosebumps from listening to Amelia’s acapella number. Another said it was “haunting and so mature.”

* Ellie Stephenson, 13 - She fought back from the brink of death as a baby, and had a mini stroke before performing at last year’s competition. And yet Ellie returned this year to produce a stirring acapella rendition of Amazing Grace.

Port of Tyne is sponsoring the Young Performer of the Year.

Port of Tyne is sponsoring the Young Performer of the Year.

Judges described it as “absolutely outstanding”, as “powerful” and “emotional.”

* Rebekah Grace Summerhill, 15 - The South Shields teenager sang in X Factor this year and performed DNA by Little Mix at the Young Performer finals.

Judges loved the “honest tone” in her voice and described her performance as “quite mesmerising.”

* Molly Stobbs, 14 - Molly had a real connection with the audience, said the judges, who also praised her for her “effortless soul” and for nailing the number that she sang. What a week it was for the youngster who celebrated her birthday a day earlier.

* Lily Cooke, 13 - Lily was nominated by her grandmother for the competition and she did not disappoint with her rendition of Clown by Emeli Sande. Totally unbelievable said one judge. Fantastic storytelling said a second. A lovely way to end a fantastic evening, said a third.

Susan Wear, Port of Tyne Director of Corporate Affairs, said: “We are proud to be part of the Best of South Tyneside Awards and to sponsor the Young Performer category once again.

“The standard at this year’s talent show was exceptional.

“The young people taking part are really inspirational so we’re delighted to support them on the way to achieving their ambitions.”

Best of South Tyneside Awards sponsors.

Best of South Tyneside Awards sponsors.