“They were brilliant. The combination of excellence and talent touched us and all the groups made a connection. I love this event, it really moved and inspired and there were lots of worthy winners.” Head Judge Graham Norton could hardly suppress his enthusiasm at the conclusion of the third Jack Petchey Glee Club Challenge Grand Final held at the indigO2 at The O2 on November 24th. Judges Brenda Edwards, star of the West Ends We Will Rock You and TV and stage celebrity John Partridge, had joined Graham and all three had a tremendously difficult task to separate the ten finalists.
Eventually, it was all girl group The Finch Stage School who took the title after impressing with a haunting version of Ave Maria followed by a truly astonishing medley of 34 different songs entitled The History of Music. Finch Stage School is run by former West End professional performer Linda Finch and this was the first year the school had entered.
In second place was Scene II Theatre School based at the Arts Centre in Great Dunmow, Essex. Their group consisted of 15 young performers aged 11-19 including three boys. Third place went to the Deborah Day Theatre School based at the Hartley Centre in Newham who were runners up in last year’s competition. The group consisted of 20 young performers aged 11to 19. The Creative Team special Award went to WHS Glee, an all girl group from Wallington High School for girls. The award was particularly poignant as the group were tutored by 2 former students who had both taken part in previous years of the competition. All four winning groups shared a total prize fund of £5000.
The ten finalists had been selected from three regional finals following a first round that required all interested groups to enter a recording of their favourite Glee number back in the summer of 2013. They were able to hone their skills at Glee Boot Camps where they were given tips from top industry professionals. Each group must consist of between 8 and 30 performers, all of whom must be aged between 11 and 25.
A packed audience of over 1000 enthusiastic supporters had witnessed the glamorous event at the prestigious venue but as soon as the curtain fell on a great night of entertainment it was already time for the talk of Glee 2014 to begin…
More photos and information about the latest Glee Club Challenge can be found on our Facebook page.