Singing sensation Keri-Ellah Cromack and artist Yamin Malik were celebrating today after wowing huge crowds and judges to win our Grosvenor Casino backed Excite and Entertain Leeds talent competition.
The music and design category winners each get £2,500 prize money and a shot at the big time after a being crowned at the White Rose Shopping Centre.
The mall took centre stage to showcase the live final featuring eight musical acts and work by four artists and photographers.
The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Facebook Live stream of the finale reached nearly 200,000 people and almost 10,000 people watched.
Keri-Ellah, aged 21, of Bramley, won judges and readers votes to take the musical performance category with her rendition of Carrie Underwood’s hit Before He Cheats
She also get to headline at Grosvenor Casino Leeds Westgate next Saturday - February 4 - to celebrate it’s new £3m refurbishment.
Keri-Ellah, a weddings and corporate events singer who performed on The Voice, also won a contract that could see her singing career soar, with music and entertainment agency, Champions.
“It was more nerve-racking in this final than competing on The Voice where Paloma Faith, Boy George, Ricky Wilson and Will-i-am had their backs to me. Everyone here was standing right in front of me, so close,” she said.
“I shop here all the time. So to be here singing, for all those people, and to win a ridiculous amount of money - it’s a bit strange, but amazing.”
Artist Yamin’s art work features playing cards bursting from a reveller’s head and exploding into a Leeds city landscape. It will be turned into a billboard in the city.
“I only entered as a bit of fun and ended up winning. It’s amazing, “ said Yamin, 28, of Oakwood, a marketing worker and part time photographer.
John Fordham, general manager of the casino in Wellington Bridge Street, was one of three judges with Champions Music and Entertainment Manager, Tania Lee and the Yorkshire Evening Post’s Aisha Iqbal
“Judging was very difficult because all our finalists were brilliant. Yamin’s art was absolutely genius and Keri-Ellah is a fantastic performer,” said John.
The other finalists included a crowd-pleasing turn from singing nurse Carina Galsim, who had the crown bouncing with her version of Uptown Funk.
Farnley duo Strobe impressed with their versions of Prince’s Kiss and Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise.
Rapper turned classical singer Cameron Lee brought soaring operatics to the mall.
And Argentinian rockers The Otherness travelled straight from a performance in Southampton to perform in Leeds.