Words by media student Emily Robson, 17

Pictures courtesy of Ian Sadler of Five Valleys Photography

SATURDAY night saw The Door Youth Project’s 12th annual Undiscovered Youth Talent Contest grand final held at Stroud Sub Rooms.

Compere for the evening and director of youth work at The Door Youth Project, Barrie Voyce, introduced the night by emphasising the primary aim of the contest - 'to showcase the talent of young people’.

The judges were then introduced - theatre and dance choreographer Alistair Bull, international musical events producer Steve Field, theatre and TV actor and singer Kim Baker, film and West End Star Stephen Tate (whose latest role was starring in the new film of Les Miserables) and previous Undiscovered Youth finalist Mary Jess (M-J) Leaverland who, since winning the contest in 2008, has gone on to win the Chinese version of the X-Factor.

Kieran Powell, renowned ventriloquist and last year’s winner treated the audience to two brilliant performances on the night. Kieran is no stranger to Undiscovered Youth - he first entered in 2010 and then went on to become overall winner in 2012.

Since winning the contest Kieran has performed for the 2012 Olympians, performed for royalty at the West End and written his own show, Look Who’s Talking, with which he is currently touring all over the UK.

Opening the showcase of talent was 13-year-old Charlotte Dalziel with an impressive version of Elton John’s Your Song. Despite her age, Charlotte delivered a haunting performance which was delivered with such a conviction and passion, you could be forgiven for thinking she was way beyond her years vocally. Needless to say, Charlotte had set a very high standard for acts to come.

The other acts didn’t disappoint, another outstanding vocal was delivered by 17-year-old Megan Strachan, who was awarded audience favourite and winner of the 16-17 category.

The overall winner was awarded to Bryony Purdue for her incredible and alternative ‘mash up’ of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good and Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me. After being told she had won, a delighted Bryony took to the stage to once again perform to a loud applause and cheer from the crowd.

Brendan Conboy, chief executive at The Door Youth Project, concluded the evening by congratulating all the contestants and made it clear that he believes young people’s talent should always be recognised.

See a video of The Door Youth Project's 12th annual Undiscovered Youth grand final below


The awards:

Audience favourite - Megan Strachan

Under 16 category - Beth Perrin (winner) and Unity Toher (runner up)

16 to 17 category - Megan Strachan (winner) and Lucy Sparks (runner up)

18 and over - Bryony Purdue (winner) and Starbuck (runner up)

Original composition - Maria Manning

Special recognition - Ciara Wakefield

Overall winner - Bryony Purdue