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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

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Tynedale’s TeenStars miss out on a trip to national final

TWO talented singers carried the Tynedale flag in the Northern England finals of the TeenStar competition at Huddersfield last Sunday.

Amy Ridley (15) from Humshaugh, and Ponteland’s Olivia Dixon (14), were among 28 Northern finalists selected from around 9,000 hopefuls who attended regional qualifiers in March.

But despite singing their hearts out in front of a packed audience, which included friends and family, the pair were not among the top three to qualify for the national final.

Amy performed Realise – a song she wrote to raise money for a young cancer sufferer.

Her mum, Judith, said: “I was proud of Amy; I don’t think she could have sung it any better. She was up against some very strong competition and she has done well to get this far.

“We are still waiting for the judges’ feedback. Amy loves her music and is always working at it to do as well as she possibly can.”

Amy, a pupil at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School, had earlier performed a rendition of Tears for Fears’ Mad World at the regional qualifiers in Newcastle, in March.

It’s a busy time for the young singer, who is set to perform at the Allendale Fair this weekend, and is developing a strong local following.

Last month she released her single on internet music site iTunes, in aid of the Caring for Kian appeal, in support of Tyneside youngster Kian Musgrove, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma last October.

Judith said it’s not yet known how successful the release has been, but feedback so far has been very positive.

Olivia’s appearance in the Northern England finals was her second in as many years and, like Amy, she arrived in Huddersfield with a small army of followers.

Performing Ed Sheron’s Give Me Love, the Ponteland High School pupil also impressed judges, but didn’t quite make the top three.

Her mum, Diane, said: “She has done really well and we are all very proud of Olivia because for the second year running she has gone a long way in the competition.”

Over the past year, Olivia has been invite to sing at a number of big local events, including Ponteland Private Nursery’s Christmas ball in aid of the Tiny Lives charity, which supports premature and sick newborn babies and their families at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Although the Tynedale girls haven’t made the grand final, at London’s O2 Arena, TeenStar has a reputation for unearthing top singing talent.

The 2013 competition was eventually won by Luke Friend, who went on to become an X-Factor finalist.