Talent Show Breakdown: Who Won?
blog post written by judy li
The first ever Fio talent show was successfully hosted on Saturday 13th July @ East Moors Youth Centre, Sanquhar Street in Splott, Cardiff. Whilst we did not have a Simon Cowell or a red buzzer, we did have a host of prizes, talent and community spirit! :D
Young people aged from 9 - 17 took to the stage with many others from the community forming our wonderful audience. A huge shoutout goes directly to our neighbours at The Breakfast Club (sometimes known as Splott Community Volunteers) who came along to support the event - their office is based next door to our Fio HQ. (Yes, really!)
How It Worked
We asked all of our participants to send in an audition clip to us prior to the big day and from there, a pool of young talent was shortlisted. We invited them in early on the Saturday for a quick rehearsal and sound-check to get used to the space on stage - each participant with a half-hour time slot.
There it was, the day that formally formed Fio’s first day of summer.
But there was also a catch.
We asked our participants to prepare up to 3 performances as the contest was to be played off by rounds and should a contestant make it all the way to the end, 3 performances was definitely needed to play it off. Exciting, right? We were blown away by the confidence that the young people had in picking out different tracks as this news was told days before the talent show.
The Transformed Space
Doors opened at 17:30.
Before long, the lobby space began to fill out as the audience members made donations, bought a raffle for later on, and even mingled with each other. The participants were nervous but our fabulous team members and volunteers was there to help settle their nerves! The hosts Tia Camilleri and Ez Rah, were in particular good at this as they’ve both had experiences of performing in public space and for a young person as young as 7, stepping on stage is quite the brave move.
The judges, Paul Duffy, Warren Manners and Suzanne Packer arrived half an hour earlier to discuss logistics, get to know the Fio team and more crucially, to get to know each other because the night ahead meant making some difficult decisions.
And the space you ask? We were never going to leave that details out! See below:
The show kicked off at 18:00 sharp with our fantastic hosts Tia Camilleri and Ez Rah leading. The duo joked with one another, questioning the other’s talent in a playful manner. It definitely worked for the occasion as our first participant came on stage to formally open the show AND show us what talent really is. The bar was set high - that’s for sure.
Shall we introduce?
Dancer Ameleigh first met Fio when her mum Amanda brought her into East Moors one sunny afternoon to audition by chance! This was days before the talent show. Her dance features many gymnastic jumps, bendy backs and splits so it was definitely a right choice for Ameleigh to open the stage for us! Well done Ameleigh!
Ameleigh performed to Fight Song by Rachel Platten.
Tyler-Jade Jones, aged 16
Tyler-Jade was one of the first auditionees to sign up for our Cardiff’s Got Talent! When citing her main reason for her love for singing, Tyler-Jade exclaimed that it was a passion that made her feel good and something that got through the hard times.
Tyler-Jade performed to Shallow by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga.
Lataya is a bit of an advocate for Fio as she has been with Fio:Futures since Autumn 2018. Lataya is the type of kid who lights up the room with the best one-liners. Believe us when we say she was a different person on-stage though - serious and composed.
Lataya performed to Speechless by Naomi Scott (from the Aladdin Soundtrack).
It’s a daunting task getting up on-stage but nothing seems to scare Siyan - she loves the stage! The Fio Team had previously met Siyan’s mum Debby as she paid a visit to the Fio office to perform some of her poetry. It’s clear that dancing is a part of their household - as it should be in every household. Seeing Siyan dance made everyone want to dance!
Siyan performed to Push It by Salt ‘n’ Peppa.
Jasmine-Lillie is one of the volunteers for The Breakfast Club. One afternoon, we overheard her singing outside The Old Library - the building that Fio HQ is based in. Encouraging her to audition, we were once again blown away by her vocals and range.
Jasmine-Lillie performed to Valerie by Amy Winehouse.
Olivia-Louise was another young person who came to audition for Fio’s Cardiff’s Got Talent at East Moors on one spontaneous afternoon. Already in her dance costume, hair neatly tied back, it was clear that Olivia-Jade had a professional discipline to dance and already ready to go!
Olivia-Jade performed to Reflections by Lea Salonga (from the Mulan Soundtrack).
The only rapper to take stage and like any good rapper, adopt a stage name - Ray-Tee. Rayne, like the other contestants had come in earlier in the day to have his sound-check slot and there were two things we noted. He and his whole family sported Ray-Tee merchandise - what better way to show support, right? The other was his professional manner in getting the rehearsals done in as easy as 1, 2 ,3.
Rayne performed to an original titled Mad Bro.
Jasmine was our last-minute entry directly at the talent show! No backing track, no sound-check, no problem - Jasmine was comfortable enough to sing acapella which one of our judges, actress Suzanne Packer commented was one of the hardest things to do. Sometimes all you really need is your voice to bring the stage alive.
Jasmine performed to Cups (When I’m Gone) by Anna Kendrick (from the Pitch Perfect Soundtrack).
An Interlude of Guest Performances! ~
The 3 judges had some extra time to finalise their scores whilst we had 2 guest performances as shown above. There it was - our first round complete and now into our first break where Greggs confectionaries were served in the downstairs lobby.
4 contestants made it to Round 2 and are as follows in no particular order: Rayne Turner (Ray Tee), Ameleigh Fiest, Olivia-Louise Davies and Jasmine-Lillie Muscat. To avoid any bias, the judges did not deliberate their decision together but rather came to a decision on their own using our very own Fio Judging Sheet. The judging criteria included areas such as creativity and technicality to name a few. A member of our Fio Team then calculated the scores per participant to decide on the overall result for who would go through to the next round.
Ameleigh Fiest, dancer, came back in to kick off Round 2 again. Fearless, it only seemed natural that Ameleigh performed to Demi Lovato’s ‘Confident’. It’s as true as what Demi sings - what’s wrong with being confident? Ameleigh performed a routine that was even more dynamic than the first - with bigger moves, with more flips and splits. It was a powerful performance to continue off from Round 1!
Next, it was Jasmine-Lillie Muscat, singer, who came back to deliver more vocals on a grander scheme. Singing ‘Never Enough’ from The Greatest Showman, everyone in the space was in awe of Jasmine’s vocals! It’s an incredibly hard song to nail but Jasmine kept it under-control and received some great feedback from the judges too.
The 3rd performance was a stark difference to the first two but it was lovely to see the nuances in styles. Performing to ‘Lost Boy’ by Ruth B, Olivia-Louise danced with such expression that got the room silent and engaged. Judge and Actress Suzanne Packer in particular, commented on Olivia-Louise’s brilliance in storytelling - a gift that not many people can have or can deliver. But at age 7, Olivia-Louise did just that!
Finally, Rapper Ray-Tee finished off Round 2 with a rap to a Stormzy backing track. With more attitude and a bit of ‘oomphf’, it was clear that Ray-Tee was not nervous or if so - had nerves of steels. With a microphone in his hand, it looked incredibly natural for the 11-year-old boy. Judge and Personal Trainer Warren Manners, encouraged Ray-Tee to start creating his own beats as it was clear he had a talent for rapping but needed to avoid using other artists’ backing tracks. 'Be your own authentic self.’ Round 2 ended on a deeper note but it was a nice thought to keep in mind not just for the audience members but for the young contestants themselves.
After another round of deliberation, 4 became 2.
But before announcing the results officially, there were some performances that transpired spontaneously from the audience members - in particular, a mother and her 2 daughters, all delivering separate dance performances.
We have been talking about the performers but should probably mention that the hosts had done a neat job on the night in keeping the contestants hydrated, feeling comfortable backstage and on-stage! Introducing Ameleigh Fiest back on-stage, she performed for one last time to Nicki Minaj’s ‘Starships’. Judge and actress Suzanne Packer in particular exclaimed that it was an extremely fun song to end the night on and no matter what happens - well done. Safe to say that the Fio Team felt the same way!
Ray-Tee was next and just as he had been throughout the competition, was chilled and composed. He performed an original titled Future which this time, judge and Personal Trainer Warren Manners commented, ‘That’s how it’s done!’. Words of encouragement poured in - a note that was nice to leave on as the show came to a near end.
An incredibly difficult decision to make for one final time…who would be crowned winner of Fio’s first ever Cardiff’s Got Talent?
* drum roll *
By one point difference, a winner was confirmed. That’s incredibly close, isn’t it?
Rayne Turner otherwise known as rapper Ray-Tee took the night away. Having spoken to Ameleigh shortly after the event though, she was very proud of the result as were her family and certainly did not go home empty-handed! Each shaking the judges’ hands, both contestants received prize money in envelopes respective of their winning positions (Gold and Silver). In addition, Ray-Tee won some beatboxing lessons with Wales’ Beatboxing Champion Beatbox Hann which will serve him handy for making some backing tracks in-future! Hopefully Fio will get to hear something soon!
Most of all though, we would like to say congratulations to both Ray-Tee and Ameleigh as well as all the contestants who got involved!