Cartwheels, medleys, line dancers, Lady Gaga and 18 pink glitter cowboy hats! Other than Junior Cavan’s Got Talent, where else would you get entertainment like it? It’s fabulous!
There’s a €5,000 prize fund to be won and some of these kids really mean business. The remaining 10 acts took to the stage on Sunday last for the quarter-final of Junior CGT and every one of them raised their game as a nervous energy reverberated through the packed audience in the Imperial, Cavan.
Hip-hop dancer Shannon O’Dea opened the quarter-final in style. After finding herself in the bottom three last week she was saved by the judges. Determined to leave the audience in no doubt of how much this means to her and how much work she is putting into learning an entire new routine every week, Shannon produced an energetic dynamic tight performance. As always she looked the part and got crowd interaction with a little Gangnam style thrown in to the mix and finished with a top class cartwheel across the stage. Alas with not enough support to appreciate her cool moves, Shannon finished in the bottom three once again and didn’t make it through to the semi-final, it is always difficult to be the only dance act in a competition such as this but Shannon has more than proven herself, and if she carries on as the judges are confident she will, she will be dancing for a long time to come yet. (9, 9)
Singing ‘Beneath you Beautiful’ by Labyrinth, beautiful Aimee Thunder took on board all the advice given to her last week and put it to good use as she chose a song much better suited to her voice. She gave a lovely performance. Having come on leaps and bounds from week one, the large audience gave her full respect as there wasn’t a noise to be heard as she performed. Only 11-years-old, Aimee’s voice is very much still developing, and having had this wonderful experience, and with lots more singing, her vocals will strengthen with time. However she found herself in the bottom three and didn’t make it through. But take heart, to get to quarter-final stage is something to be very proud of. Aimee’s CGT experience is one from which only good things will come. (7, 7)
The only musician left in the show, Hannah O’Reilly aged 12, performed a Taylor Swift song – ‘Mean’ and had a mixed reaction from the judges, who weren’t familiar with it. Whilst judge Louise O’Reilly didn’t like the song choice, judge Vanessa said it was as if it were Hannah’s own song, that she made it her own. However at this stage of the competition a huge element of how the contestants fair will be determined by their song choice. Hannah does show great confidence on stage and Louise classed her as a serious performer but with all the contestants having to perform two songs next week. Song choice for all eight semi-finalists, including Hannah will be crucial. (8, 7)
River Deep, Mountain High’ and how apt as Anthony O’Hanlon (10) from Ballyhaise went from the absolute high of pulling off another incredible performance, to the depths of being in the bottom three. Looking very stylish, Anthony takes on these massive songs and reaches unbelievable notes. Having obviously thought carefully about his staging and performance, he came down from the stage walking right down in front of the judges, serenading them, then turned and skidded back up the floor on his knees, before taking it back up to the stage. The judges complimented his confidence for even taking on such a huge song but cautioned that it was just a little too big for his voice in places. Whilst he got a rousing reaction from the audience, Anthony found himself in the bottom three. The tension in the room was palpable as the judges made their final decision and Anthony punched the air with a roar of delight as his name was called out to go through to the semi-final. (8, 9)
Bethany Smith’s song of choice was ‘Beautiful’ by Christina Aguilera. This girl really has a lovely tone to her voice and provided a wonderful version of the song, but as we said last week Bethany’s biggest hurdle is her confidence. As was evident on Sunday everyone has stepped it up a notch and as we approach the semi-final this Sunday, they will have to do that again as each contestant must perform twice. This gives the opportunity to show two different styles of song if they choose to do that, alongside all the things that go with that, staging etc. (7, 7)
Alanna Donohoe performed ‘Born this Way’ by Lady Gaga and this girl was certainly Born this way! A born performer, Alanna has something that can’t be taught, it is just in her. Having been critiqued last week for playing it safe, taking songs and stripping them back to suit her style, this week she came out and blew the judges away with this Lady Gaga hit. There was no stripping anything back this time, complete with choreography and all the theatrics of Lady Gaga, this girl means business. She looked fantastic and certainly gave it everything, all of these kids want to make it all the way to the final and performances like this set the standard. (10, 10)
Leon Jermyn recovered from last week’s throat issues to return with a great song choice of Little Things by One Direction. He used the Westlife move as Vanessa put it, getting up from the stool on the key change and interacted with the audience. The judges did comment that the 10-year-old’s vocal was a little weak but suggested the dreaded scales be worked on to help him improve, as was suggested to a few others also. Again at his age his voice still has so much maturing to do and with constant practice he will get better all the time. (7, 8)
‘Dance with Me Tonight’ was the request from Chloe Bannon, the Ballyconnell girl performed the Olly Murs number, dressed to impress topped off with her trilby hat. Again having taken on board the judge’s comments last week, Chloe changed her tact completely this week with the up tempo number. She worked the stage and whilst this girl shines on stage she did unfortunately go out of key quite early on, however she carried on regardless and is definitely a strong contender in the competition. With a huge contingent there to support her, Chloe showed great confidence and is enjoying the whole experience. (7, 7)
Yes the little pocket pop star Emma Guilfoyle was most certainly back on form this week, delivering a Jackson Five medley devised by herself. This little lady gave it her all hoping for her place in the semi-final line up. Having been encouraged by the judges last week to try something a little different such as a ballad, Emma took the comments and delivered on them tenfold with not one, but four songs wrapped up in a medley. With ‘I Want You Back’, ‘ABC’, ‘I’ll Be There’ and finishing with ‘Blame it on the Boogie’ Emma included a complete change of tempo and staging within her medley. An achievement for any performer Emma did herself proud and deservedly secured her place in Sunday’s all important line up. (7, 8)
Last to take to the stage was Caoimhe Sexton or Caoimhe Daisy Duke Sexton as she is now known. Looking every inch the cowgirl, she performed Wagon Wheel, made popular once again recently by Nathan Carter. Renowned for her theatrical performances, this performance was to be one like no other. Starting off well, Caoimhe got the audience going straight away. A very difficult task to sing and dance together, she unfortunately went off key and it wasn’t her best vocal offering to date however that was overshadowed by what was to come - 18 pink glitter cowboy hats complete with little lady line dancers appeared towards the last verse and made their way up the steps to fall in line behind Caoimhe and the entire company completed the line dance. Surreal, memorable, fun, just a few of the words to describe the Wagonettes. The group consisted of her classmates who have been in the audience each week supporting her and they decided to get in on the action. However we are reliably informed that this was a onetime only performance at Junior CGT, so if you missed it, well you missed out! (7, 7)
Only eight acts remain and with each having to perform twice in the semi-final, they will need all the support they can get. This is the last hurrah before the big one, don’t miss out on seeing your favourite make it all the way. Imperial’s doors open this Sunday at 3.30pm; show starts 4pm. All children must be accompanied by adults. For more, check out Cavan’s Got Talent and Junior Cavans Got Talent on facebook.