Competition hots up to be named this year’s Instant Star

Jaida-Lou Carter, nine, during her performance 

Picture: Sarah Standing (161402-7737)

Jaida-Lou Carter, nine, during her performance Picture: Sarah Standing (161402-7737)

(L-r) Dima Shcherbak, Nikita Krasov, Nastia Konovalova and Emma Irza with Priory School pupils Nikita Morris and Laurence Trinh.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (170737-1)

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PEOPLE from around Portsmouth demonstrated that they have definitely got talent at last night’s Instant Star contest.

The annual competition, run by The News, aims to find a talented individual or act and give them a chance to show off their abilities on the big stage.

Stuart Jarvis, 62, on stage Picture: Sarah Standing (161402-8084)

Stuart Jarvis, 62, on stage Picture: Sarah Standing (161402-8084)

This year, 12 acts put themselves to the test at The Wedgewood Rooms in Southsea.

The winner will get the chance to perform at The News’s We Can Do It and WOW247 awards shows, both at the Kings Theatre.

They will also get to sing at the switching-on of the city centre Christmas lights in Commercial Road, and at the Children in Need gala show.

The performers were judged by a panel including Children in Need show producer and music promoter Steve Pitt, Bethany Raine who is the lead singer of top tribute act Fleetingwood Mac and a sound engineer, and The News’s entertainments editor, Chris Broom.

Steve said: ‘This is the fourth year I’ve been doing this now, and the standard tonight was the highest by a mile. You never know quite what you’re going to get, but these acts made picking a winner a very difficult task for us.

‘Not a single person gave a weak performance. And it’s great to see so much talent coming through from so many young people in the city.

‘We are confident that the person we have selected as the winner is truly deserving.’

All of this year’s entrants were singers – but with their ages ranging from nine to 62 they covered a broad range of genres and styles - from musical theatre classics to a swing standard via pop chart-toppers and big ballads.

Many of the entrants were also still in their teens.

Bethany added: ‘I’ve seen most of the Instant Star nights, but this is the first time I’ve been judging it.

‘I really didn’t expect the standard to be so high. And I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard to choose the winner.

‘It was amazing as well to see all these kids who are appearing out of nowhere.’

One of Instant Star’s previous winners was Jerry Williams, whose recent single Mother has racked up more than 2m plays on streaming website Spotify and who has just completed her first national tour.

Check tomorrow’s News to find out who won and for full coverage of every act on the night.

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