Kenilworth’s Got Talent
Last Friday was the final of Kenilworth’s Got Talent. Nikita had entered the competition and was in the final heat, she was in the top three and therefore went through to the final. We were all so incredibly proud of her for having the courage to enter in the first place and then showed just how determined she was by actually going ahead and doing it.
Seemingly not that much of an achievement for a 16 year old who has a beautiful singing voice but those who have known Nikita since she was a baby are only too well aware of how awesome her achievement was. She may as well have been a non-swimmer attempting to swim the Atlantic! This is the child who couldn’t communicate with anyone on any level as a child, who would never talk to anyone new and barely spoke to her own family. She is autistic with learning difficulties and to say I was overwhelmed with unbelievable pride as she took to the stage would be the understatement of the century.
My beautiful baby who’s come so far!!
That defining moment
She had to perform two songs, one in each half of the show. Just before she had to go on stage for the first song she rushed to the toilet to be sick. This is what Nikita does when she’s anxious…she throws up! We’re all used to it, it’s just what she does! However, the organiser came to get her and I had to ask her to stall for a couple of minutes to give Nikita enough time to clear her throat in order to be able to sing. The compere waffled for a couple of minutes and she reappeared and headed for backstage. She walked on looking nervous and the compere asked her what she would do with £500 if she won. “Put it in my savings account” she said matter of factly. “Yeah…but what would you really do with it?” he pursued, obviously hoping she would admit to going out and spending it on clothes or similar. “No….” she replied, “I actually would put it in my savings account”. Her autism and literal translation of language meant she didn’t understand why she being asked the same question twice when she’d already answered it honestly. Fascinating!
He finally allowed her to start singing and the moment she opened her mouth I felt tears well up. She sang ‘Put your records on’ by Corrine Baily Ray and she was truly amazing (I know…I’m biased!) but she actually does have a beautiful voice. Apart from forgetting a few words she did incredibly well.
In the end…
She was determined not to go on for her second song but somehow found the courage to do it and sang Michael Buble’s version of ‘Feeling Good’. Again the emotion in her voice was spellbinding but again she forgot a few of the words and came off angry with herself. The comments from the judges were absolutely brilliant but she didn’t believe them, in her head they were just being nice to her.
The judges deliberated and the contestants were called back onto the stage. All of the finalists won £50 for getting to the final and the winner was to win £500. They started to call out which finalists were not the winners and Nikita’s name was called first. They hadn’t told the contestants that the names were in no particular order so she assumed that her name being first meant she had come last. She was gutted and immediately shut down. She wouldn’t talk to us or communicate in any way. The camera crew were filming Nikita in the show but Lucy is so empathetic that she refused to film Nikita being upset.
The natives are angry!
The winner was a young lady from Birmingham who had a very powerful but good voice, not to my taste but any art form is very personal and there was no disputing her talent. However, the local paper reports that people are unhappy becasue she has a recording contract, an agent and wasn’t from Kenilworth! There are so many professionally trained people entering the competition that someone like Nikita who has a very real and beautiful raw talent really doesn’t stand a chance.
I’m just so proud that she ‘felt the fear and did it anyway’ in spite of her difficulties. She deserves a medal just for getting up on the stage!!!