Gen Factor searches for Sunderland’s talent

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HAS Sunderland got talent?

That’s the question Gentoo are asking as they launch their annual talent contest, the Gen Factor.

Now in its fifth year, the contest is going from strength to strength and last year attracted 200 applications.

Last year’s winners, Nu Jam Cru, impressed judges with their colourful street dance routine.

Anyone in full-time education, year group seven to 11, who lives in Sunderland, is eligible to apply.

Applicants will then be invited to audition for a bootcamp, with up to 15 finalists chosen to perform at the final, which will take place at Sunderland Empire on November 19.

The winner will receive £500.

Michelle Meldrum, managing director (Gentoo operations), said: “It’s called Gen Factor, but it’s more like Britain’s Got Talent. It’s not just about singers and dancers, we’re looking for ventriloquists, magicians, any young person who has a talent and wants to have a go. The standard we’ve had so far has been fantastic.”

She added: “The reason we do this contest is because of the response we get from young people and the way it boosts their confidence. It helps with their self esteem which, in turn, helps with their performance academically.

“The whole experience is beneficial for their future.”

The closing date for entries is May 16.

•Entry forms are available from schools and local Gentoo offices, or can be downloaded at




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