Singers line up to battle it out for Balladeer title

December 22, 2009

There is an element of ‘fear factor’ creeping into the camp ahead of the forthcoming final of the Battle of the Ballads, after one of the final acts pulled out of the competition, it has been reported.

Newry duo, Crowded Heads – previously selected as finalists from the city’s heat – have withdrawn from the contest.  According to one of the event’s organisers, this move is a sure sign of the fear factor setting in and all the finalists now realise they have a genuine ‘battle’ ahead of them.

“It’s called Battle of the Ballads for a reason!” says Pat Loy.  “Some people have the bottle for it and some don’t – but we wish the boys every success.”

The grand final of the competition will take place this Sunday December 27th in Silverbridge Resource Centre.

As the heats drew to a close this weekend, the two finalists representing Armagh city join the fourteen others previously selected from heats held across Armagh county and in Newry.

The contest has witnessed the cream of local talent fight for their place in the final and from almost one hundred entrants, the final line-up has been whittled down to sixteen – two representatives from each of the eight heats.

TV pundit and all-round personality, Jarlath Burns, will take on the duties of Master of Ceremonies at the event and the impressive line up of judges on the panel will have their work cut out for them to choose the winner.

Internationally renowned singer, Frances Black, has been announced as one of the event’s judges.  The extent of Frances’ popularity and talent has been reflected in the awards and accolades that she has received for her albums and live performances.

Alongside Frances is another extremely talented songstress with her roots much closer to home.  Paula Flynn from Forkhill hit the top of the Irish charts with her debut single – a cover version of David Bowie’s Let’s Dance – in 2007.  The song featured in Ballygowan Water’s advertising campaign the same year and catapulted the young singer to stardom.  Since then, her singing career has gone from strength to strength, and since completing a university degree, Paula has spent her time in the studio recording her debut solo album.

The third, as yet unnamed, judge has a hard act to follow with Frances and Paula but, undoubtedly, will be chosen carefully and fit the bill perfectly.

Reel into final…

Following the withdrawal of the Newry duo, next in the vacancy was Sinead Reel from Meigh.  Sinead is delighted to have been given the opportunity to compete again and looks forward to the final.

The completed final line up is: Miceál Moley, Sarah Cairns, Antoinette Bennett, Hugh McNulty, Celia Walsh, Cormac Burns, Micheál Hughes, Sinead Reel, Ellen Maguire, Melissa Purcell, Damian Toner, Elaine Kennedy, Nicole Hughes, Louise Deasy, Eileen McKee and J.P. McQuillan.

The night is sure to be a sell-out with the best of area’s singers all vying for the Balladeer title and a top prize of £1000, with further prizes of £400, £250 and £100 also up for grabs.

Tickets are available locally or from any organising member.

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