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    Poacher’s Got Talent Final!

    Almost 1,000 spectators descended upon the 14-17 barn on Thursday night to watch the Poacher’s Got Talent Final. After five days and 320 auditionees, the 12 finalists battled for victory in front of a special panel of judges including DJ and actor Robbie White, Head of Program Steve (the self-confessed “Simon Cowell of Poacher”) and Camp Chair Lizzie.

    First up was Madeline of Market Rosen Guides, Wild West Fest, who got the crowd going with an all-singing, all-dancing Hairspray medley. The judges praised her versatility and stage presence. Next was Amelia from Uppingham Guides, Carnival Fest, who performed a beautiful ballet dance to Andra Day’s Rise Up and received praise for her use of the stage. The third contestant was Kiera of 2nd Brigg Guides, Circus Fest, with a moving performance of Breathe from In The Heights. Then came Rymer from Hessle Explorers, Wonder Fest, who gave an acoustic performance of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters. When asked why he’d decided to change his song at the last minute, Rymer gave the delightfully rock n’ roll response of “keep it fresh!”


    After hushing some of the more excitable crowd, the show continued with Libby from Pandamonium Explorers, Wild West Fest. She performed an eye-popping dance routine and had the crowd holding their breath every time she did another backflip! Next up was Ella from Broughton Guides, Folk Fest, who gave a rendition of Defying Gravity from Wicked; and then another singer, Sophia of Circus Fest, who performed Christina Perri’s Jar of Hearts. Both girls were praised for their heartfelt performances.

    Hayley, from the USA contingent, dazzled the crowd with her glittery costume and high-leaping dance routine. Then came Laura of Tweed Valley, Wild West Fest. Despite confessing to losing her voice the other night, she still wowed the crowd with a stunning opera performance of Se Tu Mami. The judges were amazed and noted that she is the first opera singer ever to appear at Poacher’s Got Talent.


    The evening rounded off with Joel of 1st Calow, Circus Fest, who sang Passenger’s Let Her Go; Annie from Stamford & Bourne Explorers, Wonder Fest, who gave a street dance to a medley of hits; and Maddy from 3rd Altside, Wonderfest, who performed Tina Turner’s Proud Mary. Starting off singing acoustic before breaking out into a full rock n’ roll dance routine, Maddy left the audience on a high.

    As the judges deliberated a verdict, the crowd was entertained by the Jumping Gents, winners of the adult’s competition, who performed a knife juggling act. But the night wasn’t over yet! Due to the astonishingly high standards of talent, the judges announced that they had narrowed it down to their top three acts – Madeline, Maddy, and Sophia – and they wanted the audience to decide instead.


    It was a tense few minutes as the three girls sang again, each putting their heart and soul into their final performance. Then Robbie White came on stage to determine the winner, using a decibel meter to measure who got the loudest cheer. And so it was decreed, via democratic process, that the winner of Poacher’s Got Talent 2022 was…

    Maddy of 3rd Altside! As her fellow contestants cheered her on, Maddy was speechless as her name was announced. She will now perform at the Poacher Closing Ceremony and will surely rock the arena as much as she did the 14-17 barn last night. Congratulations Maddy… and see you all in four years time for the next Poacher’s Got Talent!


    Amy Crombleholme

    Amy Crombleholme

    Hi, I’m Amy and I’m working on Best of Fest as a reporter this year. I studied journalism at university and I can’t wait to get the old creative juices flowing again telling tales of Poacher. I’m looking forward to hearing lots of fascinating stories and meeting lots of fascinating people. I live in Nottingham and am currently training to be a Ranger leader. My favourite colour is navy.