TALENTED vocalist Bryony Throup is hoping to follow in the footsteps of pop sensation Jessie J after making it through to the regional final of Open Mic UK.

The 16-year-old singer, from Bussage, will perform in front of competition judges at Bristol's St George's Theatre on September 30 after breezing through auditions at the same venue on August 19.

Bryony, who is poised to begin her A-level studies at Cirencester College this month, was among 30 performers out of 150 hopefuls to progress to the south west regional final of the UK-wide contest, which in the past has helped launch the careers of Jessie J, singer-songwriter Birdy and rapper Chipmunk.

Successful performers in Bristol will be whisked off to the national final at The O2 Arena in London on January 19 next year to showcase their talents in front of a stellar crowd of celebrity guests, music industry insiders and the media. As part of her bid for stardom, former Thomas Keble student Bryony is compiling a portfolio of her work for the judges, including professional CDs produced at Stroud's DB Studios and in the recording suite at the Door Youth Project, where she sang a rendition of Jessie J's hit 'Do It Like A Dude', which she performed at the audition. "I was nervous for her because I knew she was not very well that day but I had every confidence she would get through," said Bryony's dad Gary Gardner.

"Her singing is so natural, when she gets on stage she is not trying to put on an act.

"Me and her mum Joanna and the whole of the Throup family are so proud of her. We have always stood behind her and we hope the success she has enjoyed so far will continue.

"She used to be quite a shy girl but the confidence she has shown in the last couple of years has been overwhelming.

"She always gives 150 per cent in everything she does." Tickets to watch Bryony perform in Bristol cost £8 and can be ordered via her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bryonyjadethroup.