Stairway set to return as fixture on summer scene
STAIRWAY To The Stars has completed its comeback and now has a new winner.
Singer Richie Lee from Swansea had the audience in the palm of his hand, followed closely by South Devon singer Stephanie Blackler in second place.
The event at the Rainbow International Hotel now looks set to become a permanent fixture once again on the Torquay summer scene.
Host Chris Chambers said: "A packed audience enjoyed a night of high-quality entertainment from 10 aspiring new acts.
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"The West Country was well represented, and the first act to appear was 16-year-old Lucy Pike from Torbay who received a great ovation for her performance. The standard was set for the rest of the show.
"Truly professional performances from other Torbay entrants ensued, Jarrad Pearce, Catherine Ferri, Lucy Durbridge and Holly Cosgrove all excelled with their individual vocal styles.
"Danny Jones also scored highly with a quality performance.
"Variety came to the fore with Torbay's Q Sound Quartet, four ladies who have obviously worked hard at their craft and delivered some astounding vocal harmony numbers.
"Libby Victoria, accompanied by the very talented Ben on acoustic guitar, has an amazing quality in her voice and the opinion of the judging panel was to encourage her to eventually go into a recording career."
He added: "The judging panel certainly had a hard job to find the outright winner as the standard was so high and the audience vote was so close with only a few votes between the acts which prompted a recount.
"The runner-up to the title, Stephanie Blackler from Brixham, gained warm applause from the audience and her rendition of Ave Maria gained high marks from the panel.
"Richie Lee from Swansea displayed a diverse vocal range.
"His West End-style voice gained rapturous applause from the audience for his version of Bring Him Home from Les Miserable.
"His second choice of song showed his vocal range to its full potential with Sugar Bay Love."
As part of the prize package, Richie will be starring alongside Richard Digance at a concert later this year.
He will also be returning to the Bay to headline in the Stairway Christmas Special on December 8.