Hundreds spurn X Factor to see Islington talents do battle

A 13-year-old who gives pop sensation Adele a run for her money and a girl rap duo stole the show at Islington’s answer to TV talent shows X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

Nearly 800 people spurned Simon Cowell’s ITV star hunt last Saturday night for a taste of the real thing, as the Islington’s Got Talent finalists lit up the Rock Tower, Tufnell Park Road, Tufnell Park.

Holloway School student Tia Salisbury took the crown after blowing away the judges – led by Fine Young Cannibals singer Roland Gift – with her rendition of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep, while Hip Hop Juniors – a double-act aged just nine and 10 – walked off with the runners-up gong.

Organiser Katherine Mclnerney said: “Tia is only 13 but she had it all, she was just so natural and blew everyone away. She sang a difficult song and made it her own. She’s a star in the making.

“All the acts were great and the whole evening was brilliant. Everyone said it was the best show so far – although they say that every year!”

Tia’s mum Ellen Salisbury, 45, a receptionist of Bredgar Road, Archway, said: “I was so proud I was crying. She’s been singing and dancing since she was little and I think she was just born with it. I don’t know where it comes from – the rest of the family aren’t musical and I definitely can’t sing!”

The audience was treated to a conveyor belt of homegrown talent, which also featured the stylings of singer-songwriter Wayne, sharp moves from eight-piece child dance troupe Destiny and the impressive vocals of 10-year-old Paris.

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In all, 12 acts battled it out for the title of Islington’s most-talented – in the event’s third year – after weeks of auditions and rehearsals.

Second-placed Hip Hop Juniors, made up of St Mark’s Primary School pupils Lajay Bell, from Finsbury Park and Charis Tate, from Holloway, performed a Christian rap by MOBO winner Jahaziel. Nine-year-old Lajay, of Moray Road, who dreams of being a singer, said: “It was very exciting and we were very happy. I liked being on stage and we performed well.”

Mum Jackie Bell said: “I think the judges picked them because they came on with something different. It’s not every day you see two young girls rapping.”