How we’re backing Spixworth singer Sam Kelly to win Britain’s Got Talent tonight
Come on Norwich! Tonight is the night to back homegrown talent Sam Kelly as he sings in the final of Britain's Got Talent.
The nation tuned in on Wednesday to see the 19-year-old Spixworth singer wow the judges and the audience alike with a performance of the Goo Goo Dolls song Iris, catapulting him into tonight's live final.
Now, the former Sprowston Community High School pupil will be relying on the public vote to be crowned Britain's Got Talent 2012 champion. Ahead of the grand final, the Evening News, his friends, family and former teachers wished him luck and urged people across Norwich and Norfolk to vote for him.
Speaking before tonight's show, Sam said he was 'excited'. He said: 'I'm just going to enjoy it. It's a massive opportunity and a massive experience. I'm going to go out there and enjoy it.'
The final of the ITV hit show will see the teenager, who is currently studying music in Brighton, go up against Loveable Rogues, Charlotte and Jonathan, Kai and Natalia, Ashleigh and Pudsey, Only Boys Aloud, Molly Rainford, Nu Sxool, Aquabatique and Ryan O'Shaughnessy.
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His mum Francesca Kelly, who works at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: 'It's been a lovely experience for him and the people have been lovely there.
'On Wednesday, I didn't get nervous until he came on the stage and then I sobbed all the way through his performance.
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'He loves this and takes it all in his stride and has enjoyed the experience. It's lovely for his friends and family as well.'
His sister Hannah Davison added: 'Sam's not just an amazing singer, he's also a really talented musician – he really stood his ground with what he wanted to do with the semi-final, and the version of Iris he did is his own arrangement, and he was really happy to work with a couple of great musicians for the show.
'He's just having a really great time with all the other finalists. They seem to have a great dynamic and all get on really well. I don't think he'd be ashamed to miss out to any of them at this stage, he's just really honoured to be with such talented people.'
Sam will also have the backing of everyone in Spixworth tonight and his former high school, where he played his first gig aged just 14.
Eric Donnelly, landlord of the Longe Arms in Crostwick Lane, Spixworth, said: 'The whole village has got a massive buzz. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for him and hoping everyone will vote for him to make sure he is top of the tree Saturday night.'
Sprowston Community High School head Andrew John said: 'Everyone at Sprowston Community High School is so proud of Sam and we wish him well in the BGT final. He has certainly caused a stir in school and will be an inspiration for our current students to 'follow their dreams'.'
Sam has also won support from last year's finalist Ronan Parke from Poringland. After Wednesday's semi-final, Ronan wrote on his blog: 'Sam Kelly has a rich and tender voice, he stripped it back with his guitar and his voice, it was beautiful and I could listen to him over and over again.
'He made me cry, a fantastic song choice, he has a distinctive voice that I would listen to on my iPod. He is one of the artists, who you hear on shuffle and then go off shuffle to listen to him again.'
Britain's Got Talent – The Live Final will be on ITV on Saturday night from 7.30pm.
Have you got a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.