Sunderland schoolgirl in line for O2 Arena performance

SINGER ... Abby Dolan is thru to the regional finals of singing competition.

SINGER ... Abby Dolan is thru to the regional finals of singing competition.

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A YOUNG Wearside singing sensation is just one step away from performing at London’s O2 Arena.

Abby Dolan, nine, wowed the judges in the regional finals of talent competition Teenstar with her performance of On My Own from the hit musical Les Miserables.

She will return next month in a bid to land a slot at one of the world’s most famous music venues and perform in the final of the X Factor-style competition.

Proud mum Lesley told the Echo Abby had enjoyed some of the loudest support at the Tyne Theatre in Newcastle and promised the same level of backing at the same venue in the next round.

“She had lots of support there, and the set-up was great,” said Lesley.

“It was like a mini X Factor. It was good and she did really well.

“We are all so proud. She had the loudest crowd there.”

The East Herrington Primary School pupil, who started singing two years ago, gained praise from the judges in the pre-teens category, as well as some tips on how to do even better next time.

One judge remarked: “I’m not sure why you you looked so nervous with a lovely voice like that. Think about eye-contact and that connection with the audience. You did so well with your timings.”

Lesley said her daughter would work on a different song with her singing coach, ready for the area final.

Another Sunderland star, Kate Hilton, will not have the chance to sing for a spot in London after she went out of the competition at the weekend.

Mum Janette said the 14-year-old, who competed in the mid-teens section was disappointed but has responded maturely and positively and will continue singing.

“It was really hectic,” said Janette.

“It’s a good opportunity for kids to build their confidence, and Kate sang really, really well.

“It was a great experience for her, and she has taken it all in her stride.”