Sing when you’re winning
Meet the finalists so far in this year’s Travellers Got Talent competition.
With four out of the nine regional finals now decided, the competition to win this year’s Travellers Got Talent is hotting up. From Plymouth to Cambridge, Gypsies, Roma and Travellers of all ages have grabbed the opportunity to show off their singing, dancing and musical skills.
The finals kicked off in Plymouth on June 4th, where Roma organiser Toby Gorniak arranged a well-attended final at his breakdance school the Street Factory Studio. “There were hundreds of people there,” said Toby “including many Gypsies and Irish Travellers, which proves that history month really works to bring us together. The winners from the South West final were breakdancers Alan Laszczak (13) and Lincoln Gorniak (9); the runner-up was breakdancer Adrian Andrasz, (22).
Plymouth’s breakdancers will perform alongside winners from the other finals that have been held so far. The winner and runner-up in the London final for English Gypsies and Irish Travellers were singer Chloe McDonagh who sang at the launch of the Gypsy Roma and Traveller History Month in London (see below) and singer Stacy Marie Mongan. A separate London final for the capital’s massive Roma population will be held on June 28th
Epsom’s Bourne Hall celebrated the town’s long connection with the Romany community with its annual Gypsy Day on June 19th. 15 competitors sang and played in front of a 200 strong crowd of local Gypsies and Travellers to produce an almost identical result to last year’s Travellers Got Talent. A text based voting system - which will be used to decide the national final in Stowmarket in Suffolk on July 9th - declared singer Scarlett Lee (see below) the winner. Joint runners up were singers Johnny Gregory and Jimmy Connors. Singer Sherry-Marie Smith came third, but the scores were so close that the judges decided to send all 4 young people to the national final.
The winners from the East of England were decided on June 12th at the Big Fat Gypsy Festival held at Milton Country Park. The winners were singer Charmaine Upton, step dancer Leo Temple and 8 year old dancer Jean O'Brien.
The national final of Travellers Got Talent will be held from 6:30pm onwards on July 9th 2010 as part of the Gypsy Arts Festival.
Museum of East Anglian Life
General TGT Information
After its enormous success last year in Hampshire, the Travellers Got Talent competition is going national. This summer Gypsies, Roma and Travellers across England will be competing in a nationwide talent contest. Travellers Got Talent, or Bari Radt (Big Night) in Romani.
Watch last year’s winners singing their hearts out below.
All nine regional finals are a key part of this year’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month celebrations. From Plymouth to Middlesborough, Britain’s diverse Gypsy and Traveller community will be coming together to show off their talents. Just like its namesake, Britain’s Got Talent, the competition is open to people of any age, performing in any way they like.
Participants must be from traditional Romany Gypsy, Roma, Showman, Irish or Scottish Traveller families. And they must register with regional final organisers (see list below) in order to compete. The winner and runner-up from each of the nine regional finals will be invited to perform at the national final on July 9th. They will also be entitled to free entry for 2 family members or friends. Other people coming to the event will have to pay the entry price of £10.
One of the aims of GRTHM is to counter-balance the widespread ignorance of Traveller communities that often leads to hatred and conflict. Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month celebrates our culture and history by tackling the negative stereotyping and prejudices that have led to this situation.