Friday, 27 March 2015

Talent Shows

So, yesterday I performed at the school talent show. It went terribly – I’d totally forgotten how the school stage felt, it’s been so long since I was on it solo. The mic was too high, I couldn’t hold on to the ukulele, I was shaking like hell, my voice was dodgy because I had a cold … Yeah, bad combination. Needless to say, I didn’t get through to the finals.

But still, now seems like a good time to look back over the various talent shows I’ve auditioned for/been in (either solo or in a group).

All-Ireland Talent Show

In September of 1st Year, I auditioned for the All-Ireland Talent Show. I obsessed over this audition for months between sending in my application and the day itself. Not just over songs or whatever, but constantly imagining what would happen, reading tips on how to do well at auditions (on my shitty Tocco Lite – just imagine surfing the internet on that. Unless you’ve had one, you probably can’t but … It’s just barely internet-capable), looking at videos of past contestants … See, when I’m excited about something, I research it. A ton. That’s what led me to read effectively the entire CTYI wiki before going. Anyway, there are lots of drawings in my notebooks of Popstar Elle, or what I imagined myself being when I grew up.

Anyway, I think the audition was the 18th or 10th of September, on a weekend. I had to get up at 5.30 a.m. and Mam drove me to Kildare or Kilkenny to this hotel where the auditions were being held. I was very nervous. I remember having a yoghurt with nuts in it. To my surprise, there weren’t actually celebrity judges there. There was just this female producer who asked me some questions and then got me to sing. I had very little stage savvy at this point; she asked me what kind of music I liked, and I was like “I don’t really like rock…”


Anyway, I didn’t get through to the judges. My rendition of Take a Bow by Rihanna was adequate; not showstopping enough to go through on merit, but not awful enough to go on as a joke. I’ve always wondered, actually – do these people know they’re awful when they’re brought past initial auditions? Do they get paid?

I cried in the bathroom, a lot. When I told Leah (in my class), her text cheered me up. I’d also received good luck texts from a lot of the girls.
I learned then not to tell people when I was auditioning or applying for things, in case I didn’t succeed.


This one was also during 1st Year. Schoolstars was a new competition for Louth schools, where secondary school students competed in the TLT (a local theatre). It was big and exciting and official, and a ton of people in my year entered, mostly in groups (y’know, a “for the craic” sort of thing). At the school heats, I performed both in a group and solo. I got through solo, and went to the TLT for the quarterfinals.

I can’t remember what I sang, to be honest. But I didn’t get through.

However, the choir did! The choir got all the way to the finals, to the top 20. I also don’t know what song we did that year, to be honest. Oops. I think we won Best Choir.

1st Year Talent Show
Also when I was in 1st Year, the LCAs ran a Talent Show. I sang an Amy Winehouse song, my Irish teacher at the time, who was judging, said I was crazy in a good way, and I placed joint second. Joint with Emer Furlong. Niamh was first. Embarrassing. I did get a mug or something though, so that was nice.
Schoolstars #2

I also did Schoolstars in 2nd Year. I like to think I was better then, but I was probably still fairly bad. Again, I got to the quarterfinals and no further (honestly had the most awful chest infection that night, it was horrific), but the choir (singing Africa by Toto) came second overall. That year was pretty awesome, because Louis Walsh came to judge the finals, and he gave our choir some really nice comments. Also, at the end I got him to sign my arm. And Stuart, an organiser of the competition, was very fond of me.

The choir really reached its peak that year (unless you count Croke Park), which I’ll document in another post.

Schoolstars #3

This was a low point, I’ll admit. I auditioned in school with my sister and we didn’t even get through to the TLT. It’s easy to blame Moya, I guess. But anyway, after that year the competition was shut down for secondary schools.

Barbican Choirs

I have no idea what the name of this competition is, but my choir used to do it every year. It was just a choral competition. We won a few times, I think.


This one was really awesome. Lots of details, but basically when I was in 2nd Year my choir performed in the National Concert Hall and was crowned best second-level musical ensemble in Ireland.

I’m sure there are more but those are all the ones that come to mind. Ciarán won 3 school talent shows in a row with his Diablo, I’ve been told, which is pretty cool. Singing is such a crowded space, maybe I should take up something new. Like sword-swallowing.


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