Former X Factor finalist Lola Saunders says she’s excited but nervous for her Bents Park debut at the weekend.
The 21-year-old, from East Boldon, is part of the line-up for this Sunday’s South Tyneside Festival concert at the Sea Road venue, in South Shields.
Lola will join South Shields X Factor champ Joe McElderry and Britain’s Got Talent winners Collabro, which stars Washington’s Jamie Lambert, in the special North East Stars gig.
The Gazette’s Young Performer of the Year, Eve Simpson, 16, from South Shields, completes the line-up.
Lola, who made it to the live finals of the ITV1 talent show last year, said: “I’m really excited, but I’m nervous at the same time because it’s my hometown.
“It’s always harder to sing in front of a lot of people you know and I think it’ll be like that on Sunday.
“If I closed my eyes and pointed to someone in the crowd, it would be my cousin’s friend or my dad’s old workmate or something like that.
“I think the last time I performed round here was at school in front of all my peers so it’s quite nerve-racking but also nice that my friends and family will be in the audience supporting me.”
She added: “When I first came out of X Factor, I did a gig in front of about 20,000 people, but it was dark so I could only see the first few rows. This one is in daylight so I’ll be able to see everyone so I’m really looking forward to it.
“Sharing the stage with Joe and Collabro is amazing as well. Joe invited me to sing with him at one of his gigs at the Customs House after X Factor and Jamie was the judge in a singing competition I did before he was in Collabro and picked me as the winner so it’ll be lovely to see them both again.”
I’m really excited, but I’m nervous at the same time because it’s my hometown.Lola Saunders
Lola has been working with music producer Artful and other DJs.
She said: “I’m working on my own stuff but on Sunday I’m going to do songs that people will know and will hopefully sing along to.”
Gates open at 1pm and entry is free.