Trio dance their way to London date in talent contest

WINNERS ... Customs Talent winners Generation H with Westoe Travel's Graeme Brett, left, Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Fay Cunningham and show host Stephen Sullivan. Pictures by Kevin Ho.
WINNERS ... Customs Talent winners Generation H with Westoe Travel's Graeme Brett, left, Mayor of South Tyneside Coun Fay Cunningham and show host Stephen Sullivan. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

A DANCING group gave a winning performance at a South Tyneside theatre’s talent contest.

Generation H are on their way to London after being crowned winners of Customs Talent.

Customs Talent winners Generation H with host Stephen Sullivan. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

Customs Talent winners Generation H with host Stephen Sullivan. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

The trio – made up of Hannah Turner, Rebecca McKenna and Chantelle Polly – took part in the final of the competition at the Customs House, in South Shields, last week.

The contest, organised by the Mill Dam venue and hosted by South Shields actor Stephen Sullivan, saw talented competitors, aged 17 and over, from across the region take part.

The winners bagged a trip to London, worth £500, courtesy of event sponsors Westoe Travel.

After performing to Sia’s Chandelier in the first heat of the contest, they made it straight through to the final.

We have had so many fantastic artists come through the Customs House who have gone on to do great things and who knows where these acts could end up.

Ray Spencer, The Customs House

They were chosen as the winners by judges Graeme Brett, of Westoe Travel, South Shields actors Craig Richardson and Hazel Pude, Gazette reporter Vicki Newman, and South Tyneside’s Mayor and Mayoress, Coun Fay Cunningham and Stella Matthewson, after two performances to Human, by The Killers and Emeli Sandé’s Read All About It.

Group member Hannah, 22, said the girls, all from Sunderland, were overwhelmed to win.

She said: “We’ve been dancing together for about five months and Becca got an email about the competition and suggested we enter and we just thought ‘why not?’

“We loved taking part in the heat but we were quite shocked that we got through to the final, but our dance was out there and really different.

Customs Talent runner up Anna Barras. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

Customs Talent runner up Anna Barras. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

“We do all of our own choreography and we try to listen to the lyrics of the song and really tell the story of it.”

She added: “We were really nervous for the final and we were just so overwhelmed when they called our names and we realised we’d won.

“We didn’t think we were going to win because there were so many amazing acts, and we thought for sure one of the singers would win.

“We can’t wait to get our trip to London booked up – we’re definitely going to go see a show while we’re there.”

Customs Talent runners up Elishia and Emily. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

Customs Talent runners up Elishia and Emily. Pictures by Kevin Ho.

Tap dancers Elishia Cook and Emily Tiffin were chosen as runners-up, winning rehearsal space at Customs House sister venue, CustomSpace.

Fellow runner-up, singer Anna Barras, was awarded time in the recording studio at CustomSpace.

Customs House executive director, Ray Spencer, said: “The North East is a wonderful place to nurture talent and the contestants who came forward certainly proved that.

“We have had so many fantastic artists come through the Customs House who have gone on to do great things and who knows where these acts could end up.

“Generation H were worthy winners and we hope they enjoy their trip to London, courtesy of our fantastic sponsors Westoe Travel.”

Graeme, of Westoe Travel, said: “It was a wonderful competition with such a variety of performers and any one of them could have won.

“We have been in business for 26 years and the amount of talent in the area never ceases to amaze me.

“We were proud to be supporting the community of South Shields and the Customs House at this event and allowing our wonderful local performers to showcase their talents.

“As a family business ourselves, it was great to see all of the families there supporting the performers.

“It is amazing how many stars have come from the area and long may it continue.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki