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The Presentation School Choir Kilkenny Facebook page
50 to 1 odds

Ireland could win Britain's Got Talent for the first time ever this year

The Presentation Kilkenny School choir must get through the semi-finals tonight first though.

THE FIRST EVER Irish winner of Britain’s Got Talent may be an all girls choir from Kilkenny.

And it could be second-time lucky for the Presentation Kilkenny School Choir who have made it through the audition stages and are performing tonight at the semi-finals.

Director Veronica McCarron told this morning that money concerns held the girls back the first time out.

She revealed that the group were asked to audition about five years ago after one of the students sent a video of the choir to the British competition.

But, unfortunately, they could not raise the funds for the entire 60-piece choir group to travel and perform.

Then in November of 2015, Britain’s Got Talent phoned the school and said they were traveling to Ireland to see a few acts and would like to see them audition.

We had one week to prepare for the audition.
“I just feel extremely proud of the girls. They have represented the country so well in this centenary year,” she added.

Big audience

Tonight’s semi-final is set to be viewed by over 12 million people.

The principal of the school, Shane Hallahan, said:

We are thrilled to be performing in the semi-finals of this very popular competition. The choir has been rehearsing intensively and are looking forward to entertaining the viewers of Ireland and the UK.

He asked for people across the country to support the choir when they take the stage.

We ask that viewers in Ireland will tune in and support us on the night.

Ci_m9mBWsAEv9vf Veronica McCarron Pres Choir Kilkenny Twitter Pres Choir Kilkenny Twitter

McCarron, who has been in charge of the choir for 22 years, said the mood today is full of nerves and excitement. Speaking about the past number of weeks, she added:

I feel they have matured as a team over the last two months.

“We have young girls from second year in the choir, and it was hard to gel together initially, but we have practiced hard for the last two months, on weekends and everything,” she added.

Presentation School Choir Kilkenny / YouTube

Audition stages

The Kilkenny choir performed Welsh song Adiemus in the third round of the auditions process.

They got through with four resounding ‘Yeses’ from the judges, as well as a standing ovation from the crowd.

Britain's Got Talent / YouTube

Due to BGT rules, the girls can’t discuss what song they will be singing tonight at the semi-finals.

But McCarron teased:

It will be extremely moving. I think it will bring people to tears.

The school group left Ireland yesterday morning for rehearsals and preparation in the UK.

D18694-0051 Colm Mahady / Fennells Colm Mahady / Fennells / Fennells

Where it all began

McCarron started the choral programme in the school in 1996. Speaking of how successful it has been she said:

More than half the student body is involved in the programme.

She said through the years: “We have won every competition in the country… We have paid our dues and now we have this incredible opportunity to perform tonight.”

Audition process

Over 20,000 acts initially auditioned for BGT, and that is narrowed down to around 8,000 who perform in front of the judges, according to McCarron.

The process saw the choir auditioning for the judges in Birmingham in February, but it was not broadcast for several months.

The girls were not allowed tell anyone that they were successful, McCarron said keeping a secret between 62 people was tough, but the girls were:

Very anxious not to spoil their chance.

ChzM7dvWMAAp780 Pres Choir Kilkenny Twitter Pres Choir Kilkenny Twitter

Bookmakers Paddy Power has narrowed the odds to 50 to 1 for the choir to win the entire competition.

Irish voters can show their support and find out information about voting here.

The choir group is sponsored by Allianz, and CEO, Sean McGrath, said:

To have achieved this much is a testament to the considerable talent and sheer effort of this young group. We have been honoured to support them in their efforts and we to hope to see them make all the way it to the finals on Saturday night. They are an exceptional group of young people daring to take on a huge challenge. We know their performance will be exceptional but to get through to the finals they will need the support of Irish voters and we are asking everyone in Ireland to get behind them and to vote .

Read: That Kilkenny school choir were the stars of last night’s Britain’s Got Talent >

Read:Irishman part of winning teams at Cannes Film Festival >

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