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Aspiring singers take to the stage in Romford’s Summer of Sound competition

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 June 2016

Amanda Poll competes in Summer of Sound

Amanda Poll competes in Summer of Sound

Archant

Hundreds gathered to watch musicians fill a Romford mall with song on Saturday as the latest round of Summer of Sound saw eight contestants selected for the next heat.

The second round of the Mercury Mall’s competition saw 14 singers perform three songs before judges and members of the public voted for their favourites.

Spencer Hawken, deputy centre manager said: “There was a great atmosphere as hundreds gathered to watch our talented performers on Saturday.

“Barely an inch of floorspace was free, which was no surprise given the high standards we’ve seen in this year’s competition.

“I’m really excited to see how the contestants will progress and expect great things so make sure you come and watch the next round at Mercury Mall on July 2!”

The performers sang a song from the 1990s, a Motown track and a tune of their own choice.

A panel of five judges awarded scores before the public cast votes for their favourites.

The winner of the heat was Semral Thompson, 14, who sang Aretha Franklin’s Say A Little Prayer, Killing Me Softly by The Fugees and Brand New Kind of Me by Alicia Keys.

In second place was 14-year-old Bukky Oronti who sang Real Love by Mary J Blige, Ben by Michael Jackson and Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande.

The eight aspiring musicians – who range in age from nine to 38 –will be recording videos today (Friday), which will go live on the Recorder’s website and Mercury Mall’s YouTube channel next week.

They will next take to the stage on July 2 when eight will become four ahead of the grand final, which will be held at the mall, in Mercury Gardens, from 11am on August 13.

On July 2 contestants will sing a song from the 1980s, a rock track and a show tune – all of their own choosing.

The contestants are competing for the chance to sing live at major public events and record a single.

Last year’s winner Lucy Lombard went on to perform at the Havering Show, the Royal Albert Hall and Romford’s Christmas light switch on.

She sat on the judging panel alongside The Voice’s Lydia Lucy and Lyrikal for the first round of this year’s contest, held in May.

You can vote for your favourite act on July 2 and August 13 by picking a copy of the Recorder, filling in voting form and handing it at the Mercury Mall.

Votes cast on Mercury Mall’s YouTube page will also be counted.

On July 8 the Recorder will feature the four finalists, who will be close to achieving their dream of becoming a recording artist.

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