Mitchell dances to victory in Search for Star
By The Bristol Post | Monday, June 18, 2012, 05:00
IRISH dancer Mitchell Hodges has won this year's Search for a Star talent contest.
Mitchell Hodges, winner of the 2012 Search for a Star competition
Mitchell, 16, from Whitchurch and a pupil at St Bernadette RC School, wowed the judges with his dancing at the Fry Club in Keynsham last night.
Mitchell, who is American national champion and world runner-up in his age group, won £1,000 for coming first in the contest.
He said: "I'm really shocked because the talent was just so amazing.
"I thought that one of the singers would win because they were all so good."
Runner-up in the competition, which is jointly sponsored by The Post, was a duo of long-standing friends Matt Bromwich and Mark Smith, both 18, from Keynsham, who performed Cecilia by Simon and Garfunkel and an acoustic version of Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns n'Roses.
Both teenagers sang with Matt playing guitar and Mark playing keyboard and electric violin. They received a cheque for £500.
Third place went to Kristen White, 15, from Bradley Stoke who, inspired to start singing by her grandfather who used to enter talent contests, made John Lennon's Imagine her own and also sang Maybe This Time from the musical Cabaret. She received £250.
Fourth place went to Martin Williamson, 35, from Clifton, who works backstage at the Bristol Hippo- drome.
He performed two Noël Coward numbers, I Went To A Marvellous Party and Nina from Argentina. He received £150.
Thirteen acts took part in the final of the competition which has been running for 27 years. Another entrant, Chelsea Saroe, 19, was unable to take part because she was suffering from tonsillitis.
Singer Sarah Walklett, 25, a shop assistant from Sea Mills, performed Too Close by Alex Clare and I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston.
Grace Martinson, 15, from Portishead who is studying drama at Gordano School, impressed the judges with her rendition of Last Name by Carrie Underwood and the Broadway classic, The Girl in 14G.
Shaun Steer, 25, a singer from Frampton Cotterell, returned to the competition after taking a break for a few years and sang Buidui from the musical Miss Saigon and a Josh Groben song, To Where You Are.
Helen James, 16, from Downend, delighted the audience with an operatic excerpt from Mozart's Magic Flute.
Another duo, Becki Leigh-Smith, 30, and Jake Wright, 22, from Keynsham, performed their version of Hallelujah which was covered by Alexander Burke.
Becki, a dance teacher and recruitment consultant, sang while Jake, a guitar teacher, harmonised and played guitar.
Rose Eastment, 16, from Yate, performed Out Here On My Own by Irene Cara and Bound To You by Christina Aguilera.
First timer to the Search for a Star competition Daniel Waring, 32, from Little Stoke, performed under the name Daniel Kacey.
Guitarist and singer Jono Howie, 22, from Patchway, performed A Team by Ed Sheeran and Kaleidoscope by Joe Brooks.
Sarah Lane, 17, who lives in Knowle, performed Heaven by Emeli Sande and Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis.
The judges included Post editor Mike Norton, Fry Club managing director Kevin Thatcher and former runner-up and drama student Georgie Coles.