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Ellie set for O2 final
Thursday, 05 January 2012
By Lorna Russell
ELLIE Higgs will take 50 supporters with her as she hopes to win the Open Mic UK Grand Final at the O2 Arena in London this month. The 15-year-old Forest star has beaten 9,000 contestants to scoop a place, despite suffering from a throat infection in the semi-finals. “I performed Poker Face in the area final, and I was gutted afterwards,” Ellie said. “My throat cracked on the high notes, and I was convinced I was going out. “They were reading the names out, and suddenly they said mine. I couldn’t believe it – everyone was laughing because I just stood there in shock!” The Whitecross student hopes to work in theatre, and is setting her sights on attending stage school in London after her GCSEs. “I’d planned on going to college here in the Forest, but since being in Open Mic UK I’ve realised I want this to be my career.” Ellie’s first taste of the competition, which launched chart sensation Birdy, came when her mum, Gill, took her to the Bristol auditions. “When we got there, there were hundreds of people waiting to audition. I didn’t think there was any point, but my mum said I may as well try. I’m so lucky I had her support. “It’s strange hearing Birdy on the radio – she just went to her audition not thinking she could do it and look at her now. It’s weird thinking that it could happen to me.” The final, which will be judged by a host of industry experts including DJ Dane Bowers, will see one overall lucky winner offered £50,000 of prizes including a recording contract. Ellie said: “I am so excited to be in the final! I’m not in it to win it, as there are so many unbelievably talented people in the competition, but the experience I’ll get from singing to over 2,000 people is crazy. “Last year’s under-18s winner Hatty Keane has given me so much advice, it’s really helped.” Sky TV has also picked up on the success of Open Mic UK with a two-part Making of a Star fly-on-the-wall special, following the contestants in their bid for stardom. “They were filming all day at the area finals. I was interviewed when I got through and they got my performance, so I might be on there!” said Ellie. Ellie will perform at London’s O2 Arena on January 21. Making of a Star will be on Sky channel 201 on January 8 and 15 at 9pm.
Copyright Tindle Newspapers Ltd Saturday, 18 May 2013
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