Katie Thornett (UK)
'Got Talent? Katie Has!í
America, get ready for Katie Thornett!
Just recently a 14 year-old singer wowed the Britainís Got Talent 2010 judges at her recent London audition - and it has sent the British Tabloids into a head spin!
Katie Thornett sang Etta Jamesí 'At Last,' for the 3,000 audience members and the panel - a panel that included Amanda Holden ("I loved it. You have a lovely quality to your voice"), Piers Morgan ("To sing like that for your first audition was incredibleĒ) and the one, the only, Simon Cowell (yes, our very own 'American Idol' judge!)- and passed with flying colors!
The teenager, who has posted videos of herself singing on the internet in a bid to find fame, and who has won many, many other previous singing contests, sat down with us for her very first, and totally EXCLUSIVE American interview.
And so, in this EXCLUSIVE interview with the lovely Katie Thornett, we chatted about her early days, her favorite songs to sing, he dreams, BGT, and, of course, ... penguins!
Taking it from the top, it seems it all started for you in 2005 as part of London Talent, an event run by the Bigfoot Theatre Company and London Gifted and Talented. Having been selected to be part of this at aged just 10, I'm sure then working with various film and theatre companies you were soon able to tap into your unearthed singing/acting talents. In reflection, what do you remember most about that time and what important things did you take from the experience that you still use today? "I got to work with a lot of other like minded kids of different ages and from different backgrounds and learnt things from them while also having a good laugh at the same time."
"The people from the theatre companies like Stomp were really helpful and gave lots of hints and tips on performing. People running the project helped along the way, even with camera work."
"But it was also busy and we had to work quite hard using our own ideas and make preparations for the film documentary and play at the end.
In the play I had to do a very spooky part playing a ghost where you have to look and act a certain way, face lit up and with my head tilted down!"
"The play was quite dark as most of the ideas we had were tied in with the bombings in London a few weeks beforehand. Everyone was sort of thinking the same thoughts at the time - it was worrying travelling on the tube but you have to cope with it and it was worth while in the end."
"I can definitely say I learnt a lot - must be a bit like being on a film set with lots of people working together to make it happen, I guess."
Having always enjoyed singing from an early age, accompanying your granddad as he played the piano, as you first started to discover your vocal talent, what was the first song that you simply sang out loud one day that suddenly made you realize you actually had a singing voice inside you? "Itís hard to remember back to when I was 4 or 5 and thereís no song that stands out. I just remember Grandad playing as I sang along and him doing a few recordings. Itís a good idea to hear yourself recorded and makes it easier to improve. Grandad was a professional musician and used to be in the BBC Concert Orchestra, in the brass section playing lead trombone. I'm sure this helped me a lot."
"Also, I would often go on my Dadís computer to record myself on a cheap mike singing along to lots of different songs. There is no one song that stands out, apart from the song from the Titanic film back in 1997, My Heart Will Go On."
"I remember this song really well because there was a fair going on near to my home where they had a stage and karaoke machine. Someone asked me to go up and sing and everyone was amazed at how well I sang. I must have been about 8 or 9 at the time."
Come 2006, and a holiday on the Isle of Wight, and you entered the park's talent competition, singing Kelly Clarksonís, 'Where is your Heart.' Without a backing track, how did you feel that day, up there on stage - and knowing that you won the competition, did you only have to sing the one song? "Every week at the park they had a talent competition so I thought it would be good to enter this to see what it was like on stage in front of a lot of people."
"Because I was already used to singing at home it felt OK going up there and I just tried to relax and enjoy it. Iíd made some friends at the park who were really excited I was going to take part so I guess it made it easier knowing they were in the crowd supporting me. My Dad was also videoing me as well so I was looking forward to seeing what I looked like and sounded like."
"Anyway, when they told me Iíd won, it felt brilliant, like a pop star with all my fans screaming Katie, Katie, Katie!"
In 2007 you auditioned for Britain's Got Talent (BGT) with the Bryan Adams song, '(Everything I Do) I Do It For You,' but you were not accepted. What did they explain to you at the time was their reasoning? "I didnít have much time to sing, only for about a minute or so. They seemed quite impressed but it took ages until I got the result."
"Of course, I was disappointed not to make it any further that year but what can you do - there was just a letter that arrived a few weeks later but it didnít really tell me much so I donít know how near I got to the next round that year."
In 2009 you won the National Champion of Park Resorts 12-17's Grand Final! Singing 'Good Morning Baltimore' (from 'Hairspray the Musical'), you beat out over 1,500 other entrants that day. Is that trophy still what you turn to each day and look at as your inspiration for the future - and what did you do with the 350 pounds cash prize they awarded you? "I remember thinking what a brilliant trophy - it is so big and looks really good in the middle of the others Iíve won over the years - always a reminder to me of that special night. I cried when I won as it meant so much to me - still had to get myself together to sing the winning song again."
"I used the money to buy an iPod shuffle and some clothes - and treated myself to a few other things. Dad was so pleased I won that he bought me a sony laptop which I use all the time."
Later in 2009 you again auditioned for Britain's Got Talent 2010 singing 'At Last' by Etta James. This time you made it through to the next stage, so how did you feel that night - singing and hearing that you were moving on within the show? "I thought I had a chance because this song is quite unusual, not like a pop song everyone sings. They also let me sing the whole song with no interruptions so I was quite hopeful."
"It took a few weeks until I heard from them - I remember being out with a few friends when my Dad rang me on the mobile to give me the good news and my friends just went mad!"
Then, in February this year, you actually appeared on Britain's Got Talent 2010 (singing the same Etta James song) and afterwards received a standing ovation from the packed house! Please explain to us, whilst that applause was ongoing, just what was going through your head? "Itís hard to describe the feeling - a bit weird really, surreal. I was really pleased the audience liked me and itís such a compliment. I was a bit nervous beforehand but fine when I got out there, even though the stage is bigger than Iíve ever been on before. It also helped to have my Mum and Dad behind the stage to support me. I must say though, it was AMAZING!"
It's now been said that we have to all wait until April to find out how you got on in the show! As we are here in the States, has this show already taped, the winner known, your own final destiny on the show known too, and yet it won't air until April? If so, how can you keep from telling anyone the results - as I'm sure you are asked/told not to by the BGT staff?! "Yes, itís really hard when people want to know how you got on as itís just about the biggest thing you can go in for. BGT are really making the program from the very beginning when you first audition so they donít want to spoil things for the TV audience - who wants to know the result before it goes on TV? Thatís why I was surprised to appear in The Sun newspaper out of all the acts in London - we had no idea this would happen and it was a bit of a shock."
As for the songs you love to sing over and over ('Hallelujah,' 'Show Me Heaven,' 'Mama Do,' 'At Last,' etc.) which one do you think is your go-to comfort song now - the one that you know you could sing perfectly even if asleep ... and why? "At Last because I just love singing it and I donít think many other artists would sing this. When I sing, I put everything into it and sing from the heart. I think that this is what people pick up on and why they enjoy my talent."
And, in truth, which song would you love to be able to sing, have tried many times to master, but just can't seem to get vocally correct ... and why? "Well, at the moment my voice is developing. Two years ago, I sounded quite different to the way I sound today. Tried singing 'Somebody Elseís Guy' by Jocelyn Brown, but canít quite get the high notes in the song - maybe have to wait till Iím a little older."
Although through Hall Mead School, you have now been selected to take part in a songwriting project, working with UK artists to develop musical talent. Please explain this more and what your actual role in this project is going to be. "Iím working with guitarists from a local college who are helping with the chord work and a member of the 80ís band Squeeze whoís helping with the lyrics and melody for my composition."
"Itís got to be about London or a London theme and a lucky person will get to have it performed in the Keys of London gig at the Barbican, London in the near future."
"There will be some famous artists and acts invited along so itís something Iím really looking forward to."
Having sung on TV/radio and acted in school plays and in the West End as part of a theatre group called The Originals, if you had to choose just the one profession to go into, would it be singing or acting ... and why? "Singing is the strongest right now and what I enjoy and feel most comfortable with."
The Fun Five!
1) Do you have a recurring dream/nightmare - and if so, what is it and how does it usually end? "I only dream sometimes and itís usually about singing."
2) What is your one greatest, guiltiest comfort food pleasure? "A big Galaxy chocolate bar!"
3) If you could meet anyone famous living today, who would it be - and what would be the first question you would ask them? "Leona Lewis - I love her songs and would ask her how it felt winning the X-Factor."
"But I have already met someone famous - it was Uri Geller when I as about 6 years old and he bent a spoon for me and signed it! We've been to his place as well!"
4) How many autographs have you given out - and where was the very first one? "At the T-Festival in Thurrock Park last summer, to girls and boys queuing up after Iíd sung 'Hallelujah'."
5) What is your favorite subject at school - and why? "Music and drama, but mostly music."
And finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, ExclusiveMagazine.com love penguins (the aquatic, flightless bird, not the chocolate bars!) ... do you?! "Yes, I love them - theyíre so cute!"
Interviewed by: Russell A. Trunk
If youíre interested in knowing more about Katie Thornett, visit her on Facebook:
Katie Thornett on Facebook
So, if you would like to win a SIGNED photograph from Katie, and you think you know all there is to know about the lady herself, just answer this easy question: Which one of Katie's favourite songs is she currently learning to sing - and who sings it?!
HINT - If you check out this brand new Katie Thornett video (below), you will quickly discover who the artist is! But then it is down to you to figure out which song (and not that one!) is the one Katie is currently learning to sing from said same artist!
Katie Thornett - NEW SONG!
All ten (10) winners chosen will receive a SIGNED photograph from Katie! And, as an added bonus, every single winner will get their names mentioned at the start of Katie's new video for that very same-guessed song!
How cool is that?!?!?!?
Send us your answers and if you're correct you'll be in the running to win one of these wonderful SIGNED photographs from Katie! Just send us an e:mail here before July 1st with your answer and the subject title CONTEST: KATIE THORNETT SIGNED PHOTOs to: email@example.com
IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ: This Exclusive interview - inclusive of photographs within - with Katie Thornett is under copyright protection and ownership solely for ExclusiveMagazine.com and AnneCarlini.com
Exclusive rights have been given to Steve Thornett and Katie Thornett to distribute and post this article - in full at all times - for promotional useage in any way they deem responsible and beneficial.
The Copyright Act of 1976 protects this original work of authorship - inclusive of the exclusive photographs within - fixed in any tangible medium of expression.
If any copywriting infringements are found to exist directly from this Exclusive interview anywhere else - whether it be on the internet or in print - lawful action will immediately be taken.
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