Fenland Has Talent final tonight - and tickets still available for Braza show

ELEVEN acts will tonight battle it out for victory in Fenland Has Talent - and a chance to play at this weekend’s March Summer Festival.

The acts were chosen after auditions at March Town Hall last month, where 23 acts were whittled down to just 12. The emotionally-charged evening was littered with classy and brave performances from talented stars, many of whom shone in front of their proud parents.

However, Surviving Sunday has been forced to pull out of tonight’s final, leaving 11 acts to fight for the title.

Tickets are still available for the event. They cost �5 and can be purchased on the door tonight at the Braza, in March.

Our reporter Gavin Caney was a judge at the auditions - and here’s his report from the event.


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THE evening kicked-off spectacularly with March dance duo XPOSED booking their place at the Braza with a humorous and upbeat routine to a home-made mix-tape.

Lauren Russell and Lauren Kirby, both aged 15, told judges they loved dancing together as they have a similar sense of technique that helps to inspire their work which was clearly evident in their near-perfect routine.

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DANIEL MCALISTER, 20, from March, was the next act to progress through the audition stage with an electric solo contemporary dance display which included elements of ballet, jazz and modern styles.

STEPH PENMAN, 15, continued to fly the flag for March as she produced a spine-tingling rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah which moved some judges to tears.

With her place in the final almost instantly secured the pressure began to grow on the remaining acts. However, the next three showed incredible composure to book their places in the final.

Chatteris singer MICHELLE EGLEN, 28, wowed the panel with her classy performance of Oleta Adams’ Get Here while the adorable ALICE DARWOOD, 13, from March, impressed with her version of Elton John’s Your Song.

Yet, just as the judges thought they’d seen it all, confident MEGAN GREEN blew them away with a breathtaking cover of Adele’s Someone Like You. The 13-year-old had travelled from King’s Lynn for the auditions but rightly earned her chance to return to March on June 9 with a stunning display.

CHRISTIAN SMITH booked his place in the final by singing John Mayer’s classic Your Body is a Wonderland while playing his guitar in an effortless acoustic display.

The 18-year-old was soon followed into the final by fellow Chatteris guitar player CONNOR ORRIDGE, 14, who shone with a medley of songs which included riffs from Michael Jackson’s Beat It and the theme tune to the Rocky films.

The most unique display of the night belonged to March beatboxer OLIVER GRIFFEN who received a standing ovation for his genius display of vocal percussion which has to be seen to be believed.

The 20-year-old had the panel on their feet and in hysterics as he switched effortlessly through beats including well-known songs such as Salt-n-Pepa’s Push It and Snoop Dogg’s Drop It Like Its Hot.

Judges had only just returned to their seats when showman SAM HORVATH produced a stunning display on the drums. The 14-year-old from Gorefield, a member of The Wash, threw in a few tricks during an energetic display which once again had the panel on their feet.

The last two places in the final both went to bands that sung their own songs.

SURVIVING SUNDAY – made up of Ben Greenwood (drums), Bryan Watson (vocals), Dom Greenwood (guitar and backing vocals), Chris Jacklin (guitar) and Alex Hempsall (bass guitar) – sung Rain to book their slot.

The up-and-coming band, who only formed in January and already perform across Cambridgeshire – had judges comparing them to the Lostprophets.

Similar praise went to DAVE, who booked their slot in the last audition of the night. The band – still unaware just who entered them into the competition – performed their tune The Man I Am which was enough to see Owen Armstrong (vocals), Aidan Millward (guitar), Kevin Roweth (bass guitar), Craig Brown (drums) and Lee Ireland (guitar) progress.

The talent on display was so exceptional that 2008 Britain Got’s Talent semi-finalist Michael Machell, from Merseyside failed to earn his place at the Braza despite his keyboard rendition of Land of Hope and Glory.

March drummer Jack Howe, 12, was one of the unluckiest to miss out after a thrilling rendition of Iron Maiden’s The Trooper in front of his visibly proud mum and dad.

He joined Maddie Forster from Wisbech (electric guitar); Lora Grainger (dancer), 12 from March; singers Grace Selby, 11, from Chatteris; Selina Bower, 11 from March; Holly Orridge, 10 from Chatteris; and Jodie Bavister, 11 from Whittlesey in narrowly missing out.

Kira Gibson, 13, who sung Green Day’s Time of Your Life with dad Mark Gibson and family friend Barry Tessaromatis on the guitar, also failed to progress as did Ben McCarthy, 17 from March, who sang Plan B’s She Said.

March-based dancing duo Abigail Wenn and Courtney Burke, both aged 11, also performed excellently but failed to secure one of the 12 final slots.

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