The Door Youth Project reveals a host of 'Undiscovered Talent' at Stroud Subscription Rooms

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By Bodger21 | Sunday, January 27, 2013, 15:09

The ballroom at Stroud's Subscription Rooms was bursting at the seams with young talent last night, as The Door Youth Project hosted its 12th annual Undiscovered Youth grand final.

Won in the past by the likes of The Wanted's Nathan Sykes, the showcase of future stars featured a glittering line-up of young talent.

The evening was compered by last year's winner Kieran Powell - an extremely gifted young ventriloquist who, since winning last year's contest has gone on to perform for the 2012 Olympians, entertained royalty in the West End and competed in the national final of Britain Does Variety. Kieran has also written his own show, Look Who's Talking, with which he is currently touring the UK.

A packed auditorium was welcomed by resident compere Barrie Voyce of The Door Youth Project, who introduced the judges for the evening: theatre and dance choreographer Alistair Bull; international musical events producer Steve Field; theatre and TV actor and singer Kim Baker; film and West End star Stephen Tate (whose latest role was that of Fauchevlevent in 2012's Les Miserables, alongside Hollywood stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway); and previous Undiscovered Youth finalist Mary Jess (M-J) Leaverland who, since winning the contest in 2008, has gone on to win the Chinese version of X-Factor, been signed by DECCA Records (with whom she has released a debut album and is currently writing her second), contributed to the Downton Abbey soundtrack and sang Abide With Me before the 2012 FA Cup Final

PICTURE GALLERY: The Door Youth Project Undiscovered Youth talent contest, Vol. 1

PICTURE GALLERY: The Door Youth Project Undiscovered Youth talent contest, Vol. 2

Opening the evening's showcase was 13-year-old singer Charlotte Dalziell, who gave a faultless performance of Elton John's Your Song - a beautiful ballad covered most recently by singer-songwriter and musician, Ellie Goulding, who took the song to number two in the UK charts in late 2010.

Despite her tender years, Charlotte gave a beautiful, haunting and really confident performance, exiting the stage to a deafening round of applause and a crescendo of cheers.

Charlotte had set the bar very high for her fellow young contestants, but as the evening wore on it became increasingly apparent that this was going to be a close-fought contest, as one by one, a host of young performers took to the stage, wowing the judges and audience alike with their exceptional musical talents.

Last to perform was 19-year-old singer Bryony Purdue, who closed with a fantastic and slightly 'mashed up' rendition of Nina Simone's Feeling Good.

After the second interval - and much deliberation on the part of the judges - Kieran and Barrie reintroduced all 16 young acts to the stage, where they waited with much nervous anticipation for those all-important results.

Results (prizes in brackets)

Audience favourite: Megan Strachan (£40 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Under 16s runner-up: Unity Toher (£30 cash and certificate)

Best Act Age Under 16: Beth Perrins (three-hour recording session or £50 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Age 16 to 17 runner-up: Lucy Sparks (£30 cash and certificate)

Best Act Age 16 to 17: Megan Strachan (three-hour recording session or £50 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Best Act Age 18 and over runner-up: Starbuck (£30 cash and certificate)

Best Act Age 18 and over: Bryony Purdue (three-hour recording session or £50 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Best original composition: Maria Manning (three-hour recording session or £50 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Special recognition: Ciara Wakefield (£30 cash, gold disc trophy and certificate)

Best of the Best - and this year's winner of Undiscovered Talent - was a delighted 19-year-old Bryony Purdue who, after being presented with her prize and gold disc trophy, in true X-Factor style, closed the show with a repeat performance of her winning number, Feeling Good.

And so ended another glittering extravaganza of young talent at its best.

* As well as giving young people the opportunity to showcase their talent, this annual event raises much-needed funds for The Door Youth Project - a Christian-based project which exists for the benefit of all young people aged 11 to 25. 

To find out more about The Door and all the amazing things it does, log on to its website, visit its Facebook page or follow on Twitter.

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