A 12-year-old girl with a big voice who dreams of singing in the West End was crowned the winner of Burnley’s Search for a Star.
The talent competition, organised by East Lancashire Newspapers in association with Charter Walk shopping centre, came to a glittering close with Alexandria Pollard, from Ightenhill, scooping the coveted first prize from a stellar line-up of future stars.
The Blessed Trinity RC College pupil, who also plays the piano, wowed the panel of judges, which included entertainers Amanda Claire-Jones and Alex Taylor, Burnley Express editor Chris Daggett and Chris Gribben from Charter Walk, with a show-stopping rendition of “Colours of the Wind,” from Disney’s Pocahontas.
The 1882 Lounge at Burnley Football Club was packed with friends and relatives of the 13 finalists who battled it out to win.
But it was Alexandria who stole the show, beating impressionists George Bury and Ben Maguire and Fused Dance Troupe into second and third place.
Judge Alex Taylor told Alexandria, who won £250 and a session in a recording studio, she should be performing in the West End.
Her proud dad Christopher, who watched the final alongside mum Grace, said: “Alexandria has been performing since she was nine years old but she has never won a competition like this before. “She is over the moon. She was in Burnley’s Got Talent a couple of years ago and got to the final four. This time the judges said she was totally confident and totally nailed it. She wants to sing in the West End, she loves songs from the shows.”
Alexandria’s mum Grace is from the Phillipines and the schoolgirl’s idol is Lea Salonga, who has played the lead role in musical Miss Saigon.
Mr Pollard added: “I think she might still be in shock. When they called her name we couldn’t quite believe it. Until recently Alexandria had voice coaching lessons and she’s going to start them again soon. Her mum is her main driving force, we’re very proud of her.”
Alexandria was up against the cream of Burnley’s young talent, acoustic guitarists and singers Danny Smith, Jodie Woods, Matt Whatley and Beth Ferguson; singers Jessica Woods, Rhiain Thornton, and Kayleigh Bannatyne; keyboard and singer Paige Bithell, dancer Molly Stephenson; comedians and impressionists George Bury and Ben Maguire; and dancers James Waterworth, Wilson Ratcliffe and Fused.
Mr Gribben said: “It was a fantastic night, it was a really well organised event. There was great support from family and friends of the contestants and the calibre of the acts was very very good.”
Burnley Express editor Mr Chris Daggett also praised the standard of the performers.
He said: “This area is blessed with an amazing array of talent of all ages.
“The event has acted as a great showcase and the final provided some really top class performances.
“I am sure that we will be seeing one or two of the finalists on stage or on television in the near future.”