THE BEST of Wearside’s young talent goes head-to-head at Sunderland Empire tonight.
Gentoo will hold the final of its talent search The Genfactor, which gives young performers in the local community a chance to shine and showcase their talents.
The competition is now in its fifth year and more than 120 acts and 158 young people from across Sunderland auditioned for a place at bootcamp which whittled 71 acts down to the final 12.
They will perform to a panel of four judges – Gentoo deputy chief executive John Craggs, Sapien Records managing director David Smith, The Worx Dance Theatre Arts Academy’s Keeran-Rose Greener, and previous Genfactor winner Liam Jones.
Gentoo chief executive Peter Walls said: “The Genfactor is just one example of our work with young people helping them to build confidence and showcase their talents.
“It is really amazing to see how much talent we have in Sunderland, and I hope that these events inspire more people to get involved and realise their dreams.”
The acts that have made it through to this year’s final are: singer/guitarists Tom Hawick, Eden Grimes and Kieran Scaplehorn; solo singers Kate Hilton, Chloe Ann Robson and Bethany Gillan; dance duo Helen Scott and Kayleigh Baxter; dance groups Nu JAM Cru and Northern Hope and dancers Katie Louise Robinson, Alice Smith and Colette Liddle.
Comperes for the evening will be comic and actor Steve Walls and Student Radio Awards nominee Spark FM’s Jonny Chambers, himself no stranger to performing on the Empire’s stage.
The evening will also feature a performance by last year’s winner, drama student Lauren Waine, and a rendition of the Black Eyed Peas classic “I Gotta Feeling”’ by all the contestants.
Gentoo will also be collecting donations for NSPCC on the night.