On Saturday 18th January I performed at the NEC in Birmingham before a capacity crowd. Competing against 25 other acts who had won their regional and area finals, there was an excited and tense atmosphere! The judging panel included people from Universal and Sony Music. I considered the performance an opportunity to show the record companies what I do. (You can send out as many demos as you like but performing live is the best exposure anyone could ask for.)
Strangely, whilst I had been uncharacteristically nervous before my performances at The Royal Northern and Dewsbury Town Hall, I was completely easy going throughout the final! As I stepped out onto stage with Dad wearing a pre-hoovered hat that we had located on top of his dusty wardrobe, I was happy and relaxed. I had so many supporters I just felt like it was a fun party with friends. We kicked off 'G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D' very softly, with hums and the audience quietened down to listen. The song rolled along and it was enjoyable all the way through. The audience spontaneously joined in, clapping on the chorus and bopping to the mouth trumpet, which got a special mention by the compere! The audience reaction was amazing. People just really seemed to enjoy it. I walked off stage happy that I'd given a fun performance, but not aware I would end up winning, not only my age group, but the whole competition!
At the end of the night, all the contestants waited on the stage and various prizes were given out. My name was called with two other acts to perform in a showcase. I was pleased and presumed this was a runner up prize. Then the winners were announced... 3rd.... 2nd.... then my heart started pounding, even though I didn't think it could be me! 'Heidi Browne'... I was bewildered and tiptoed into the middle of the stage, blasted with confetti and pyrotechnic smoke! All my friends, fans and family were screaming, jumping up and down on their seats! I was stunned!
Now I'm being managed by Future Music, Birdy's producer wants to work with me, we are going to rerecord 'G.I.R.L.F.R.I.E.N.D' and release it as a single, I am being given a swish Lewitt microphone and an artists development package including £5000 of music budget for my next album and tour!