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‘I just want whatever God has planned for me’

The Island's newest Bermuda Idol is ... local songstress Olivia Hamilton.

The entertainer beat out tough competition from 13 other singers in the popular talent competition, hosted by radio station Hott 107.5, on Saturday night at Ruth Seaton James Centre for the Performing Arts.

Taking home the coveted ‘Bermuda Idol' title came as a huge surprise to the 24-year-old.

“The first thing I said was ‘Thank you, Jesus' because I didn't know I would win. I'm still kind of in shock. I don't think it's even hit me yet.

“Someone came up to me yesterday and they said ‘Congratulations' and I almost had to say ‘For what?' because it's so surreal.

“I was overwhelmed, happy and proud and felt a sense of validation. I feel like this is what I have been working towards for a long time. It was just so exciting.”

Ms Hamilton said her friends and family had been encouraging her to audition for Bermuda Idol for years, but the timing never felt right.

“I'm a person who believes that you can only do something when you are 100 percent ready and all these years people wanted me to do this, but I didn't feel I was ready,” she said.

“Now it felt right. I felt I had peaked in terms of how far I could go with my music in Bermuda and after I took part in the Evolution Fashion Show I thought ‘What's next? What's bigger than this?'

“I started to hear Bermuda Idol ads come on the radio and my grandmother was sure I could do it. Then February 1st came around and I thought ‘Let me just audition'.”

Although she had heard of two of the other contestants who had made it past the audition stage, Ms Hamilton wasn't entirely sure of the calibre of talent she would up against this past weekend.

“Then when I heard the other people sing I was blown away because these were really good singers,” she said.

“It wasn't like it was just random people to fill the competition.

“Everyone who sang had a great voice, so going into it I wasn't sure what my odds were of winning. I felt it would be a hard competition and like everyone had a shot.”

She said winning the competition has already opened up some doors she never expected.

Someone from BET approached her to “discuss a few options”, which in and of itself is a blessing “because those are opportunities that people don't easily get,” she said.

“I just want whatever God has planned for me,” the singer explained. “I have had a few people reach out to me since the show. I don't want to speak on that too much but I know there will be bigger and better things that come out of this.

“My ultimate goal right now is just to get a bigger platform and get my music to a bigger audience.

“It would also be great to go Stateside and see what happens.

“Even if it means me working behind the scenes, it would be good just to be in the industry to get more exposure and connections and learn more about my craft.”

At Saturday's event she performed two songs: the Whitney Houston classic ‘I Believe In You and Me' and ‘Dangerously in Love' by Beyonce.

She said one of the most emotional points in the competition came when organisers played a video of her close friends and family before she went on stage to perform.

“My parents, sister and brother they live in Florida and couldn't make it to the competition, so when I heard them on the video I started crying because it took me off guard,” said Ms Hamilton. “It allowed my family in Florida to get involved in the night, so that for me was just everything. I broke down right before I had to go out and sing.”

It was also a great experience to get to share in the joys and sorrows of the night with the other contestants.

She said they were all offering each other support and encouragement; and helped to calm each other's nerves before the big performance.

Although she experienced a little pre-stage anxiety, Ms Hamilton said she was relatively calm the entire day leading up to Bermuda Idol.

Even when she had a small malfunction with one of her earrings, she didn't panic and every thing worked out.

“Everything fell into place,” she added. “I really honestly believe that was the right time for me to do this. My dress was finished the morning of the competition and that went on flawlessly. Everything from hair to make-up went perfectly that night.”

She thanked her sponsors, including: PRAK Collection for making the beautiful, white gown she wore; Kyla Tear for doing her make-up and Akelia Darrell and Tinee Bean for styling her hair.

The runner-up for the night was local performer Jesse Seymour; while the third place winner was 12-year-old Mckenzie Hassell.

Bermuda Idol 2014 was judged by BET's Kelly Griffin, musical director Tony Berry, professional vocalist Sheila Smith and D3 Entertainment's Clyde Duffie.

Olivia Hamilton wows the crowd at the Summer Sundays Soulful Expressions in Victoria Park yesterday. (Photo by Mark Tatem)

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Published March 18, 2014 at 9:00 am (Updated March 18, 2014 at 11:30 am)

‘I just want whatever God has planned for me’

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