SIMPLY the best. The words of compére Ray Spencer summed up a magnificent night of talent at the Best of South Tyneside Young Performer night, sponsored by Port of Tyne.
And after watching 10 wonderful acts perform, Ray told their families at the Customs House in South Shields: “Go home and be very proud.”
It said it all. Every contestant did themselves proud.
Today, we look at the contenders who are waiting to hear if they’ve made it through to the Best of South Tyneside finals night in June.
n Samuel Collins-Clark
The 17-year-old singer-guitarist sang a Busted number at our finals and the judges told him they loved the falsetto tones in his voice and his well-controlled range of notes.
n Rebekah Grace Summerhill
The 13-year-old Harton Technology College pupil, from South Shields, valiantly agreed to swap songs at the last minute when another performer was listed to do the same song as her original choice.
She performed Everything I Love from the musical In The Heights.
The judges praised her confident performance and told her she was “class.”
n Juliet and Rose Melia
Juliet, 18, and Rose, 16, performed Wrecking Ball and the judges told them their harmonies were lovely.
n Jennie Blackburn
The 17-year-old, of Whitburn, performed Let Me Be Your Star from the musical television series Smash.
Impressed judges told her she oozed confidence and her voice was incredible.
n Sasha France
The 11-year-old from Jarrow was no stranger to the competition after wowing the judges last year. Performing Hold My Hand, she was a hit again. One judge told her that her talents for an 11-year-old were so good, she could “conquer the world” in the future.
n Hope Billie Swan
Just days short of her 16th birthday, the South Shields teenager was a stage sensation with an Ella Henderson number. Grounded, controlled and a pleasure to listen to were the comments that the judges gave to Hope.
n Jake Hudson
The 11-year-old from Jarrow sang Eye of the Tiger in a stage act which mixed singing with kickboxing. The panel told him it was “so fun” and praised Jake for being lovely and showing so much spirit.
n Eve Simpson
The beautiful voice of Eve, from South Shields, was shown off to full effect when she sang one of her own compositions called Rain.
Judges told her she had shown a wonderful mix of light and shade in her music.
n Aimee Lambert
Another singer songwriter. Aimee, from East Boldon, was described as the sort of song people would listen out for on the radio.
n David France
The last act, but 10-year-old David drew magnificent applause with his version of Uptown Funk. One judge told him: “You have made my day. You are class.”
It’s now down to the judges to pick the best three acts from the night. They will go forward to the Best of South Tyneside finals to be held at the Quality Hotel on June 25.
Susan Wear, director of corporate affairs with the Young Performer competition sponsors Port of Tyne, praised the “confidence, ambition and stage presence” of all the finalists.
“It was really inspirational to watch them. To think they did this in front of parents and other children, that must have been really hard.”
She praised the Customs House and South Tyneside Council for continuing to nurture young talent and making sure there is a stage for emerging talent to perform on.
Compére Mr Spencer added: “We are all aware of the people who are making a living in the music industry who have been winners of these awards.
“And there are people in the West End who have been part of this.
“There is a proliferation of talent competitions but there is something special about the longevity of this award.”