Monday, 15 August 2022

Duo singing to win £5,000

TWO friends from Henley have reached the second round of a national singing competition.

TWO friends from Henley have reached the second round of a national singing competition.

Jamie Dewson, 13, and Stacey Griffins, 14, will compete in the 13 to 15 age category at the regional final of TeenStar UK on Sunday.

The two were friends at Trinity Primary School when their teachers noticed their voices complemented each other and they now attend Gillotts School together.

Jamie, of Simmons Road, said: “My friends always said I was a good singer but I didn’t really know it myself as it was just something I did when I was bored.

“I was looking for something to do when I went on this website which had all these auditions for talent shows and competitions.

“I didn’t have the confidence to audition myself so I asked Stacey if she would do it with me and she was really happy to. She gives me confidence and little tips.” The pair were selected for the next stage after singing Elton John’s Your Song in front of a panel of four judges at Sub 89 in Reading last month.

Jamie said: “Sub 89 is next to a McDonald’s so we went in to eat something before the audition and our hands were shaking.

“No one had ever heard me sing because I am not a confident person, I’m actually quite shy, but as soon as I’d sung the first line my nerves went and I felt fine.” Stacey, of Noble Road, has previously auditioned for Britain’s Got Talent and performed at the Henley Youth Festival last month.

She said: “Music is a way for me to express myself and is something I really enjoy so it’s very special for me that someone else has noticed how passionate I am about singing.

“I’ve sung ever since I can remember. I’ve always been in front of the TV, dancing and singing. I love singing with Jamie.”

The pair have been rehearsing for Sunday’s showcase, which will also take place at Sub 89. About 150 members of the public are expected to watch.

The friends will be performing Written In The Stars combined with Adele’s Rolling In The Deep.

The competition winners will receive £5,000, publicity and promotions, development classes and recording studio time. Jamie said: “The judges posted feedback about our performance on the website and said that it was really good but we should make it more of our own. We’ve taken that on board and hope it will make us stand out from the other acts.”

His mother, Sadie Bonner, a carer, said: “I never realised I had such a talented son — his voice is phenomenal.

“I think the two of them work really well together because they have got really strong voices. I’m hoping and praying that they go a long way.”

Miss Bonner will be among the audience together with Jamie’s dad, Jon, a carer, who lives in Wargrave, and his older sisters, Bonnie, a beautician, and Keren, a shop assistant.

Stacey’s parents, Sean, a butcher and fishmonger, and Amanda, a lunchtime assistant, will also be there.

Tickets to the final cost £8 and are available on the door (4pm).

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