Lucy wins contest

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Twenty year old North Shore student Lucy Whigham beat off strong competition to win the first prize in the grand final of the Queens Hotel Q Factor 2011.

Lucy, a first year musical theatre and drama student at the University of Cumbria in Carlisle impressed the panel of judges with her versions of Taylor Swift’s You’re Not Sorry and Snow Patrol’s Run as well as her own composition I Need You.

Accompanying herself on acoustic guitar, the judges praised the petite performer’s vocal quality, vulnerability, phrasing and her writing ability, as well as predicting a bright future for her.

Second place went to 18-year-old Aaron Jordan who used the stage area well for an enthusiastic, well choreographed and confidently delivered set of Robbie Williams, Celo Green and Michael Jackson material which revealed plenty of potential.

Third place was claimed by local female vocalist Mini G, whose punkish image and dancey opener belied her talent at delivering show songs and big ballads.

Opening the night was young and slim swing singer Matt Andrews. Confident and with a wide ranging voice his choice of material was good and judges praised his well performed medley from Jersey Boys.

Fran Collins combined material by Adele and Shania Twain in a well rehearsed set which lacked a little in spontaneity.

Despite his tender years vocalist Alex Conner opted for a largely rock and roll set of Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley with just a touch of Paolo Nuttini to ring the changes. Plenty of confidence and potential here.

North Shore’s Steve Proctor won plenty of praise for his rendition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man and on another night could well have found himself in the top three with an ambitious selection of material and a good delivery.

Kathryn Burns made the most of being on last by leaving the audience wanting more after a powerful rendition of Ave Maria. Elsewhere, Hero and Jump revealed there will always be work for her in clubland.

The first prize was presented by Queens Hotel owner Mrs Pat Mancini MBE. Judges were comedians Johnnie Casson and Duncan Norvelle, record producer Guy Pople and Gazette entertainment editor together with resident Queens vocalist Peter Anthony and Mardi Gras host and entertainer Stella Artois

Next year’s Q Factor 2012 starts on Thursday, February 24 with a final on May 31.