Judges 'blown away' by town's talent as winner of Northampton's Rising Star 2017 is found

A 16-year-old girl who has dreams of singing in the West End has been crowned the winner of a Northampton talent show for her 'phenomenal' voice.

The finalists of the Northampton's Rising Star talent show took to the stage at the Spinney Theatre, in Spinney Hill Road, on June 4 for the live audience finals.

(From left to right): Organiser Tommy Gardner, Beth Marshall, winner Kara Hamer, Stefanie Williams, Sario Solomon and host Aaron Williams. Photo credit: Paul Odams

(From left to right): Organiser Tommy Gardner, Beth Marshall, winner Kara Hamer, Stefanie Williams, Sario Solomon and host Aaron Williams. Photo credit: Paul Odams

The show saw 11 competitors battle for one of three places in the grand finals.

After one final performance from each of the acts, singer Kara Hamer, from Corby, was crowned as the winner Northampton's Rising Star 2017.

Kara said: "When they read out my name I burst into tears. I was speechless. The other acts were amazing and I didn't think I stood a chance."

Kara stole the show by singing Leona Lewis' cover of 'Run'. Organiser and judge Tommy said: "When Kara started singing so softly at first but then out of nowhere she came through with such a powerful voice. It blew the judges away.

Northampton's Rising Star winner Kara Hamer's performance gave 'a powerful performance that came out of nowhere'. Photo credit: Paul Odams

Northampton's Rising Star winner Kara Hamer's performance gave 'a powerful performance that came out of nowhere'. Photo credit: Paul Odams

"We all had an amazing night at the theatre in celebration of the amazing talent that this town has to offer. I would like to thank everyone that has been a part of this project in any way. We will return in January."

Also in the final three was six-year-old 'body-popping' dancer Theo Medcraft and performance group Gymnastricks.

Northampton's own Step by Step Dance School opened the show while singer-songwriter Billy Lockett returned to his hometown to perform for the interval.

A minute's silence was also observed before the show to honour those affected by the recent attacks Manchester and London.

Northampton's own Billy Lockett returned to his hometown to perform. Photo credit: Paul Odams

Northampton's own Billy Lockett returned to his hometown to perform. Photo credit: Paul Odams

The charity talent show was held to raise funds for Cynthia Spencer Hospice.

A spokesman for Cynthia Spencer said: "It was wonderful to see such a diverse, talented group performing in front of a large audience and supporting the hospice along the way. It really showed what a talented community we have in the town.

"We are extremely grateful to everyone who organised or took part in this wonderful showcase of talent for raising funds and highlighting our hospice care."The judging panel consisted of Northampton's Rising Star producer and organiser Tommy Gardner, Strictly Northampton's Beth Marshall, Miss Galaxy England Stefanie Williams and the winner of BBC Let it Shine Sario Solomon."

Kara said: "I really happy to have won. It will help get me name out there. I want to sing in the West End someday. I just love making that connection with the audience.

"I want to thank my mum and dad for supporting me, as well as Terry Meechen, Paul Balmer and the Travers Foundation for everything they've done, and Julie Riley for encouraging me to enter Northampton's Rising Star."

The fundraising total amount will be announced on the Northampton's Rising Star Facebook page soon.

Northampton's Rising Star 2018 will begin its search for new talent in January.