The 25 finalists competed for the 2,000-euro first prize and almost 7,000 euros was raised for cancer charity AECC on the night.
On Sunday, November 29, almost 800 people in Benidorm Palace found out one thing: Benidorm Really Has Talent. The finalists consisted of 25 acts selected from 110 at the previous weekend’s heats. The event was in aid of raising awareness and gathering funds for Spanish cancer charity AECC.
As the people started to pour into the superb venue, the excitement and anticipation was mounting for what was to come, the Benidorm Has Talent final, the biggest variety show ever staged on the Costa Blanca.
The show opened with a performance by producer and presenter Steve Shappelle. A welcoming message was played to the audience from Britain Has Talent’s very own Piers Morgan, who not only wished the contestants luck but reminded everyone of the importance of remembering the vital role played by the cancer charity and the need to support it.
After the opening act, co-presenters Steve Shappelle and David Climent (Entertainment Director for Benidorm Palace) introduced the judges: EWN publishers Michel and Steven Euesden; Christine Climent from Benidorm Palace; X Factor superstar Rowetta; and Maite Iraola from the Culture Department. The judges, especially Michel, did not mince their words if they thought an act was not up to scratch, but, equally, they did not hesitate to give the ones they liked a standing ovation of their own.
Let the show commence
The first finalists on stage were the Girls Aloud Tribute and the show continued with fabulous act after fabulous act including Javier Romero; the charismatic Eleazar Alexander; the curious Yessie and Michael with their ‘Quick Change’ magic act; the upbeat Pixiestix; the charming Jim Winstanley; the amazing Kayleigh Taylor; the young Daniel Whybrow on the guitar; the smooth Guillermo Gasco; the entertaining Elena and the Boy; the great voice of Melanie; and finally the young Spanish dance troup Stars TV.
At the break, X Factor Star Rowetta gave a powerful rendition of the hit and Benidorm Has Talent anthem ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ backed by a fantastic 28-voice choir.
Auction and donation
After the intermission, an exciting auction was held for a Rolex watch kindly donated by Roadshow EU Managing Director Morne Botes, which started at 200 euros and ended up going for an amazing 3,100 euros for AECC to an Englishman from Norway visiting Spain.
On Tuesday, December 1, EWN discovered that Morne Botes has decided to reward the generosity of the winning bidder by giving him another watch. It proves that what goes around comes around!
Before the remaining finalists took to the stage for their performances, a surprise donation of 2,000 was given to AECC by an extremely generous local businessman, who preferred to remain anonymous.
The second half of the show started with the insanely energetic Wardi, and on to a range of acts including: the agile Oksana on the drapes; tap dancers Ruth and Melissa; the powerful voice of Michael Woo; and the wildly entertaining Vladimir on the wheel. He was followed by the fantastic Sophie Jackson; the charismatic duo from Words and Music; the popular singer Christina Rae; and the stunning Estefania Romero. After Estefania, came a young Spanish boy named Manuel Alcantara, performing a song he wrote himself; the sexy voice of Vera Engel; the emotional female vocalist Anya Evstegneeva; and Local Police officer Frank Gomez.
In between the performances, each of the ten prizes donated by generous businesses were raffled, also in aid of AECC.
After the last of the 25 finalists had performed, the choir stood in front of the stage ready for the audience to submit their votes. The judges, including Michel and Steven Euesden, discussed the finalists and counted the votes which would decide who would walk away from the night with the 2,000-euro first prize and who the runner-up would be.
During the vote-counting, the audience were treated to a taste of Benidorm Palace’s very own fascinating ‘Crescendo’ show. Beautifully choreographed, and with absolutely breathtaking costumes, the gorgeous dancers enthralled and entertained everyone.
And the winner is
As the judges returned, the 25 finalists were lined up on the stage and the runner- up was announced: Estefania Romero (EWN gave her 750 euros for coming second). Then came the moment that everyone had been waiting for, and the winner of the 2009 Benidorm Has Talent was called to collect her trophy and envelope with 2,000 euros in cash – also donated by Euro Weekly News – Liverpool mum Kayleigh Taylor.
In all, almost 7,000 euros was raised for AECC and its representative Pedro Llorca told EWN: “I would like to thank everyone for coming to this fantastic event organised by the Euro Weekly News in collaboration with the management of the Benidorm Palace and the Spanish Association Against Cancer (AECC). On behalf of the provincial government, and the local authorities of Villajoyosa, Benidorm and San Juan, all our volunteers and me, we give you our most heartfelt thanks for your generosity.”
The organisers are already working on the next event, which is sure to be even bigger and better than this one.
Benidorm Has Talent 2010 here we come!
The organisers would like to thank everyone who has made this possible by donating their time and money for this worthwhile cause. The list of people who have selflessly helped make this event possible is endless but includes: the EWN team; everyone at the Benidorm Palace; and especially, Rowetta, who came along to support the cause.