Teenager prepares for Westlife date

WHEN Stefanie Stretton won a singing competition at school, she had no idea she would be supporting her idols Westlife at a huge concert.The stunned 16-year-old beat off 14 other pupils in a Pop Idol-style final at Chantry School and was only told afterwards that she would be singing to thousands of people at the gig in Chantry Park, Ipswich, on July 31.

WHEN Stefanie Stretton won a singing competition at school, she had no idea she would be supporting her idols Westlife at a huge concert.

The stunned 16-year-old beat off 14 other pupils in a Pop Idol-style final at Chantry School and was only told afterwards that she would be singing to thousands of people at the gig in Chantry Park, Ipswich, on July 31.

Stefanie, of Skylark Lane, Ipswich, said: "I was gob-smacked. There were a few tears from people, including myself. I couldn't speak, it was indescribable."

Stefanie has since taken it all in her stride, revelling in the attention and looking forward to meeting her idols.


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She said: "My mum and I were dreaming that Westlife would pick us up in their Limousine.

"Ever since I got interested in performing, I've really been looking forward to people coming up to me and asking for my autograph.

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"It is one of my dreams that a recording company will run up to me when I am on stage and say, 'that's really, really good'."

She won the contest with Show Me Heaven by Maria Mckee, but now has to choose two upbeat tunes to kick-start the event.

She has even cut out chocolate and is drinking lots of fluids to keep her vocal chords in good shape.

"I'm really excited, just ecstatic about it," she said. "The next day everybody was calling me so they could take my photo on their mobile phones and I have had some friends ask for my autograph.

"It's just great fun, everybody is talking about it and I am really a celebrity at school."

She added: "It's getting to the crunch stage now and the clock is counting down. My mum will get really worried and will not sleep the night before.

"I am kind of worried it will go wrong."

nAre you a Westlife fan? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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