A TEENAGE singing star is one performance away from following in the footsteps of her idols and taking to the stage at the O2 Arena.
St Bede’s High School pupil Jessica Croston, 14, has impressed judges with her West End tributes in a number of talent shows during the last year, but her biggest prize yet is still within her grasp.
If she is successful at the semi-finals of Open Mic UK in Manchester on October 14, Jessica will perform at the prestigious London venue during the final.
She told The Gazette: “I was one of 20 out of 150 people who got through and it’s great because this is a national competition.
“It’s really exciting because the final is in front of celebrity judges and thousands of people.
“I’ve worked really hard with my singing teacher to get to this point and my dream is to be a West End star, so I’m building up to that by doing all of the competitions.”
Her dad Ian, 43, said the whole family were supporting Jessica to help her achieve her dreams.
He added: “She is doing exactly what she wants to do and takes a lot of inspiration from musicals.
“She started by entering herself in competitions on the internet because of her interest in musical theatre and that’s given her the drive to do well.
“I’ve driven her to competitions as far away as Newcastle so far this year and more than 1,000 kids entered Open Mic UK, so it’s great to see her getting this far.”
Previous winners of the competition include chart sensation Birdy.