BALINTORE singer-songwriter Mina Taylor has won through to the next round of national talent competition Open Mic UK – and now heads for the regional final in Yorkshire in December.
After her demo won her an invitation to the first Glasgow auditions in front of a panel of judges last month, Mina then won through to the regional live performance heat held in front of an audience in Glasgow last Saturday.
Watched by a busload of friends and family from Ross-shire among the live crowd at the City Halls, Mina was one of just three picked from her over-21 category to go forward, along with a fourth "wild card" entrant partially voted for by the audience.
Now she heads for the North England and Scotland Area Final in Dewsbury Town Hall near Leeds on December 1.
"I wasn’t sure whether I was going to get through or not in Glasgow so it was a lovely shock when they shouted out my name," said Mina this week.
"And there has been some quite inspiring feedback about my performance online from the judges – saying my voice sounds like a cross between Suzi Quatro and Tina Turner," she revealed.
"On the night the judges were at the front and the venue is quite a big place and they had screens up to let people at the back see.
"So it was an experience and a half and nerve-wracking!"
Mina sang original song Here Is Where I’ll Stay and has vowed to stick with performing one of her own songs for the next round as she has since the start.
"It was a great atmosphere and a great support group I had down with me – I couldn’t have asked for more," she said of her supporters.
"And the outcome was just the icing on the cake!
Sadly, fellow Balintore musician Keilan Ross wasn’t picked from the competitors in the 16-20 category to go forward in the competition.
Mina said: "I am feeling heart sorry for Keilan because he is so good.
"But I’m still in shock that I got through myself."
Mina is not sure that all of her loyal fans will be able to make it down to Yorkshire for her next performance.
"I couldn’t expect everybody to travel that sort of distance down to Yorkshire for the December area final, but there are the diehards," she laughed.
"The talent is just so high, so it’s still a bit surreal that I’m through.
"But you’ve got to be confident!"
For more information on Open Mic UK go to www.openmicuk.co.uk