Instant Star: Performers leave judges with a tough decision

Megan Linford, one of the Instant Star contestants. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142909-558)
Megan Linford, one of the Instant Star contestants. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (142909-558)
Victor Ariat

Smooth sailing for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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ACTS from across the region left judges with a tough decision after they demonstrated how much performing talent we have in the area.

Eighteen different acts showed off their skills in front of a panel of three judges at the auditions for our Instant Star 2014 competition, held last night at The Cellars at Eastney.

Entertainers ranging from eight to 76 years old put themselves to the test in a bid to win the contest and get a coveted spot at next month’s Children in Need gala show at The Kings Theatre in Southsea, where they will appear in front of hundreds of people.

And the performers showed a wide variety of talents – from ballroom and interpretive dancing, to singing, songwriting and magic.

However, a handful of acts who registered to audition clearly felt the pressure as they failed to turn up.

Love, Hearts and Kisses, a trio of singers and dancers, made up of Sophia Sheppard, nine, Isabella Howard and Grace Smith, both eight, got the evening off to a great start with their high-energy take on Olly Murs’ Troublemaker.

Each act was given two minutes to show what they’ve got, and at the end the judging panel, made up of Sandra Smith from The Kings, the Children in Need show producer Steve Pitt and News entertainments editor Chris Broom put their heads together to pick a winner.

The winner will be announced tomorrow in The News.

Sandra said: ‘I was so impressed by the overall quality, and particularly by how confident a lot of the younger performers were – I would be petrified. It really was an amazing evening, and it made it much more difficult to pick the winner.’

And Steve added: ‘It’s good to know that the next generation coming up through the ranks has got as least as much talent, if not more, than the current one.

‘There were kids there of only 10 or 11 years old with already absolutely belting voices.’

The winner will also get to take part in the switching-on of the Portsmouth city centre Christmas lights on November 20. As well as appearing in the gala show at The Kings, they will also get to star at The Guide Awards and the We Can Do It Awards run by The News.

For tickets to the Children in Need show on November 9, call the Kings box office on (023) 9282 8282.