The prize of this year’s Edinburgh’s Got Talent went to a little girl with a big voice – 13-year-old Caitlyn Vanbeck.
The Ross High School pupil brought down the house with her heartfelt rendition of Adele’s ballad Don’t You Remember.
Now in its third year, this contest was bigger and better than ever. Held for the first time at the Playhouse, dance acts and vocalists delivered their polished performances alongside a huge video screen and atmospheric lighting.
The curtain opened to rapturous applause, with opening performances by Louise Marshall Millington with Pulse of the Place Samba Drummers and Dunedin Dance Academy.
It was followed by an appearance of last year’s EGT winner Gavin Blackie, who announced the release of his first single, Get it on Tonight. The audience was then introduced to the judges – Liam Rudden, Evening News arts and entertainment editor, Forth One presenter Boogie, Deborah Welsh, promotions manager at the Evening News and Richie Jeffrey, events manager at Forth One.
The evening was presented by Forth One presenter Arlene Stuart, who looked stunning in a blue ballgown.
The night saw the crowd treated to a theatrical Pirates of the Caribbean style dance act by Morningside Dance Academy, a rendition of Daniel Merriweather’s Red by Darren Gilbertson and high velocity performance by the cabaret dance troupe Hustle.
As the judges deliberated on the winner, the X Factor singer who captured the nation’s heart last year took the stage.
In a sensational performance, Gamu performed two songs from her new album, Broken Arrow and Make My Day – both delivered in a Motown style with modern and fresh elements.
Evening News editor Tom Little took to the stage as the tense participants waited to hear who would be crowned winner.
“Every year, Edinburgh’s Got Talent has been better than the year before – but this year, it has been fantastic,” he said.
The announcement was dramatic as the final trio became clear – Caitlyn, Stephanie Ternent and Rebecca Taylor.
Judge Deborah Welsh, who described Caitlyn’s performance as having “depth and emotion”, said: “You have an absolutely stunning voice. I’m not giving you points because you are 13, I’m giving you points because you are good.
“Not only did I hear every note that you sang, I felt it. It was sensational.”
Liam added: “The fact you were on holiday and just got back last night, and the way you have performed that, at 13 – the audience reaction said it all.”
Caitlyn, who lives in Tranent with mum Marina and dad Paul, said: “I’m still in shock – I just can’t believe it.
“I felt really nervous because a lot of the other performers were a lot older and they had had a lot more time to perform.
“I just managed two rehearsals last night and one on the way in the car.”
Marina, 39, a financial analyst, said: “I’m just shellshocked. We are both so very proud of her. What I heard on the stage tonight just blew me away.”
Tom Little said: “What a great night. Eleven brilliant acts and a fabulous audience in our wonderful new venue. Caitlyn is a truly deserving winner – I just wish everyone could be crowned champion.
“The News puts on this show to celebrate the talented people of Edinburgh, and I want to thank our readers for taking the contest to their hearts.”
How they finished . .
1. Caitlyn Vanbeck
2= Stephanie Ternent
2= Rebecca Traynor
4. Edinburgh Dance Academy
5. Erin Henderson
6. Ashley Anderson
8. Morningside Dance Academy
9. Ross Arthur
10. Nicola Syme
11. Darren Gilbertson