STAFF and students at a Wearside school are keeping their fingers crossed for singing starlet Olivia Lawson.
The Sunderland songbird will be battling it out tonight on The Voice and her friends and teachers are all rooting for her.
The 17-year-old, from Grindon, has already wowed the judges in the initial blind audition stages of the BBC show, and was snapped up by Rita Ora.
Now she’s back for the next stage, the battle round, which will see her sing against fellow contestant Clark Carmody.
Fellow students and staff at Grindon Hall Christian School, where Olivia is a sixth form student, say they couldn’t be more proud of her and will be glued to the television tonight.
Graeme Murray, head of sixth form at the Pennywell school, said: “There were only a few of us at first who knew she was involved with it, but when she got through and was on the television it caused huge excitement.
“Everyone was thrilled to have one of our own doing do well. We even played it on the big screen in case anyone had missed the show, but of course they hadn’t.
“This school is very much like a family, so everyone is very proud of Olivia.”
Friends of the teenager, who has been singing properly for about two years, said they were stunned when they found out she was going to be on the television.
Amy Blenkinsop, 17, said: “I was so nervous for her. I could hardly watch the show. It is really exciting.”
This school is very much like a family, so everyone is very proud of OliviaGraeme Murray, head of sixth form at Grindon Hall
And, fellow A-level student, Tom Williamson, said although they had no idea she was taking part in The Voice, he is not surprised she is doing well, saying: “She is really good.”
The talented teenager, who works part-time at Kitui salon in Barnes, said: “It has been really crazy. Everyone at school has been supportive and keep asking me about it.”
Olivia hopes her appearance on The Voice will act as a platform for a future singing career and if she makes it through to the final stage of the contest, the live shows, she’s in with a chance of scooping a recording contract with Universal Music.
• Tune in to see how Olivia gets on in The Voice on BBC 1 tonight at 7.15pm.