Teenage singing sensation Rachel Allder is just one step away from performing onstage at the 02 Arena in London, in a competition which aims to find Britain’s next big music star.
But it almost didn’t happen: Rachel lost her voice just days before the auditions for the TeenStar competition, and was reduced to passing handwritten notes to friends and family to spare her vocal cords.
Luckily, she had sufficiently recovered by the day of the auditions – held at Ferneham Hall in Hampshire – to impress the judges with her stripped down acoustic version of Bon Jovi’s rock anthem Living on a Prayer, arranged with the help of Rachel’s singing teacher, Aldbourne-based Anna Page.
Now the 13-year-old, who saw off competition in her audition from a rival who is appearing in the musical Cats at the NEC in Birmingham, will be returning to Ferneham Hall on April 14 to compete in the regional final.
And if she makes it through, the St John’s School pupil – whose musical heroes include Newton Faulkner and Brit Award winners Ed Sheeran and Emeli Sandé – will perform at the 20,000-capacity 02 Arena in front of a judging panel made up of big names from the music industry.
“When I told the judges I would be singing Living on a Prayer there were some raised eyebrows,” admitted Rachel, who lives in Burbage. “But they really liked my take on the song.”
And she has another surprise in store for the judges at the regional final – an acoustic version of the dance track Titanium, by vocalist Sia and producer David Guetta, which reached number 1 in the charts in 2011.
Friends of Rachel can support her bid for stardom by joining the audience at Ferneham Hall on April 14. Tickets cost £8. For details email Dean Allder at email@example.com