A YEAR after she came within touching distance of glory, it was finally Rebecca Traynor’s chance to shine.
The 15-year-old wowed judges at last night’s Edinburgh’s Got Talent final with a powerful performance of Katherine Jenkins’ Bring Me To Life, 12 months after she had to settle for joint second place.
Held for the first time at the Festival Theatre, Rebecca came out on top in the talent contest’s first all-female final.
The night’s entertainment got under way with the curtain rising to rapturous applause and a thrilling opening performance by Edinburgh Dance Academy and two captivating songs by 2011 winner Caitlyn Vanbeck, still only 14 years old.
The audience was then introduced to the judges – Evening News arts and entertainment editor Liam Rudden, Forth One presenter Boogie, Evening News promotions manager Deborah Welsh and Richie Jeffrey, events manager at Forth One. The host of the glitzy event, Forth One presenter Arlene Stuart, then took to the stage wearing a midnight blue dress.
One finalist after another – some of whom were just 12 years old – then put many an X Factor contestant to shame with a string of sensational performances.
Slick singing and dazzling dance routines were the order of the night.
Leona Rae, 31, brought some soul to the proceedings after taking to the stage with her own song, Ain’t No Stopping Me, which brought the house down.
And 12-year-old Chloe McLean gave her own spin on Highland dance with a funky routine she had choreographed herself.
Piano-playing Claire Anderson, 16, who had just recovered from a trampolining accident that prevented her from dancing, sang American songstress Demi Lovatos’ Skyscraper.
The quality on stage left the judges with a serious headache as they tried to pick a winner.
But it was Musselburgh Grammar pupil Rebecca’s rock-opera performance of Wake Me Up Inside that tugged hardest on their heartstrings.
Rebecca told the audience appearing in last year’s final had boosted her confidence and added: “I would recommend Edinburgh’s Got Talent to anyone.”
Judge Deborah told her: “That was right up my street, absolutely fantastic.
“There was probably more pressure on you than anybody else because you were in the final last year. Expectations were really high, but you nailed it.
“The top notes were sublime, I was actually quite speechless and I had goose bumps on my body.”
As the judges deliberated over the winner, Edward Reid, who starred on TV show Britain’s Got Talent, kept the crowd entertained with his own unique brand of song and humour. Tensions grew as the performers took to the stage to find out who would be named the winner by Evening News editor Frank O’Donnell.
Frank, who admitted to having childhood dreams of performing as Adam Ant, said: “It’s been fantastic. They have worked hard, thought what they want to do, practised their singing and dancing, and they all deserve to be here.
“Regardless of what name is in this envelope, all of the performers are winners.”
As the crowd waited for the winner to be revealed, many shouted in support of their favourites.
When the champion was announced, a stunned Rebecca struggled to take the news in.
Despite the shock of being named the 2012 winner – and taking home a £1000 prize – Rebecca held on to her nerves to deliver a flawless final performance which brought the show to an end.
Rebecca said: “I’m absolutely shocked. I didn’t think I could go on to win it because I had been here last year.
“But I think this time my performance was better and I had more confidence.
“It was very tough, the other contestants were all so good.”
It doesn’t end there for Rebecca, who as part of her prize will perform at next month’s star-studded Radio Forth Awards at the Usher Hall on Wednesday, November 7.