Published: January 20, 2014
Young Brent Knoll singer scoops second spot in national contest

A talented young singer from Brent Knoll impressed a panel of TV judges when she finished runner-up in a national singing competition on Saturday (18th January).

Gracie Wickens-Sweet, 9, reached the grand final of the 'Star of Stage' competition in Wales.

The contest is the UK's largest musical theatre competition and Gracie was picked by five top judges to take part.

She performed in Saturday's final at The Sherman Theatre in Cardiff where she was assessed by Connie Fisher, the winner of Andrew Lloyd Webber's BBC1 Show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria, and David Mahoney of TV's Only Men Aloud plus other celebrity judges.

"Gracie raised the roof with an outstanding performance of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow', receiving the only standing ovation of the night, and roars from the audience," her singing coach Siobhan Johnson told

"She came a very close second place. The judges were all amazed by her incredible voice and maturity for a nine year-old."

Head Judge Connie Fisher, pictured with Gracie, took time out to speak to the young singer afterwards. She said was "completely overwhelmed" by her voice, adding that she is a very special and extremely talented young singer who will, in her eyes, definitely be a star of the future.

She said that she actually wanted Gracie to win the contest and had caused a lot of deliberation when choosing the first and second places. The final placing was decided by the simple fact that Gracie had longer years ahead of her in this age category compared with the girl who won. She added that Gracie would be the "next Beyonce."

At Saturday's event there were 27 competitors in all and each one was of an extremely high standard.

The talent management agency involved with the show approached Siobhan afterwards requesting to sign Gracie up there and then as they were so impressed by her very special talent.

Siobhan added: "As a singing teacher I can say that Gracie is a very talented young singer with an incredibly big voice who always performs with such professionalism and captivation. She most definitely has the 'X factor' and is a name to look out for in the future. Myself, her parents and friends are all immensely proud of her wonderful achievement," added Siobhan.

She also thanked Burnham's Princess Theatre for their support towards Gracie.

Pictured: Top, Gracie with Connie Fisher and, above, Siobhan Johnson


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