A CONFIDENT town teenager performed on the biggest stage of his career at a national competition in London – and is now set for a return to the capital for talks with record label bosses.
Fifteen-year-old Michael Rice admitted the nerves had set in and the atmosphere was tense backstage at the famous O2 Arena.
But Michael still nailed one of the best performances of his life as he sang Beyonce’s hit Sweet Dreams at the Teen Star 2013 final.
The performance was enough for him to be named as runner-up in the 13-15 age group and third place overall – a truly incredible achievement in a nationwide competition entered by thousands of youngsters.
Delighted Michael, who lives in the Stockton Road area of town, and his proud family and friends made the trip back to Hartlepool yesterday.
But the Dyke House Sports and Technology College student will be heading back down south later this month to record in a studio and meet two record companies.
“I’m still in shock by it all to be honest,” Michael told the Mail.
“I was really nervous beforehand and it was tense back stage but when I watched my performance back I knew I had done well.
“I’m still on a high now, I just can’t wait to get home and tell all my friends.”
Michael impressed judges at a regional and northern competition to earn a spot in the prestigious final on Sunday.
He says all he’s ever wanted to do is sing and perform and can’t wait to get back to the capital to spend some time in the studio with record bosses.
“It will just be amazing to meet up with them and learn more about the industry,” he said.
Michael’s family and close friends were able to join him for the weekend in London thanks to a number of fundraisers which raised more than £800.
Michael is now hoping to perform back in the town as soon as possible.
“It would be really good to perform for my family and friends again and say thanks for all their fantastic support,” he added.