LOOK out X Factor winners Little Mix – because a Hartlepool girl band could soon be snapping at their heels for chart success.
Town group The Peppermints are through to the grand final of the Open Mic UK contest after battling past thousands of unsigned musicians.
Now the five-piece are in line for a £30,000 recording contract when they perform in front of celebrity judges at London’s O2 arena next month.
The Peppermints are Chloe Cannell-Cass, 10, Ellen Gowland, Olivia Stanton, and Emily O’Connelley, all aged 11, and Kelsey Sadler, 12.
They are all students of The Northern School of Music, in Church Square, Hartlepool.
Vocal teacher Toni Parker-Harvey said: “They are the only act from the North-East to reach this stage of the competition, so we would like loads of support as that’s a part of the competition.
“Words can’t describe how proud I am of the girls, we have all worked so hard leading up to the event.
“In the area final the girls were brilliant but most importantly they looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were all so happy, which can’t be choreographed or practised.”
The girls, in the under-16 age category, wowed the crowd and judging panel in the regional and area heats to land a place at the national final.
It takes place at the IndigO2 venue in London on Saturday, January 21.
The Bull and Dog pub, in Greatham, is supporting the girls and has donated money to help with equipment.
Open Mic UK is the UK’s biggest music talent competition for unsigned singers and solo artists.
It is open to all genres, from rap and hip hop to acoustic and classical.
There is more than £50,000 in prizes up for grabs, and the overall winner will be offered a recording contract with up to £30,000 investment.
A competition spokesperson said: “The O2 is the best place to showcase your talent in front of a massive crowd and celebrity judges.
“It’s going to be a huge event and an experience of a lifetime for all our finalists.”
A two-part series about the competition, called Making of a Star, will be shown on Sky channel 201 on Saturday, January 8 and Saturday, January 15.