Audience had their eye on some great performers

Eyemouth youngsters talent contest during EHQ celebrations
Eyemouth youngsters talent contest during EHQ celebrations

Whereas last year’s X Factor was dogged by falling ratings, the popularity of ‘The Eye Factor’ is on the up with a packed EU Church lapping up showstopping turns last week.

The variety extravaganza, formerly known as ‘Eyemouth’s Got Talent’ was undoubtedly one of the highlights of Herring Queen 2013 and I imagine, like myself, having seen many talented youngsters in Eyemouth Variety and Youth Drama Group productions, the audience , including Queen Devon and her maids, were expecting great things.

It was a shame that only a few of the Variety Group pack decided to take the stage, but those that did certainly did the ensemble proud.

Recognising that the room was full of anticipation, host for the evening, Jemma Landels, teased the packed house with what was to come and the arrival of the judges - ‘Simon Cowell’ (before the baby rumours broke!) and one of the Bay City Boilers, fresh from the fancy dress parade the night before, further fuelled people’s curiosity.

Like ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, the action in ‘The Eye Factor’ wasn’t just restricted to behind the microphone with opening act Alex only needing a guitar to impress.

The youngster played along to Paolo Nutini’s ‘Candy’ with a control mightily impressive for his young age and both judges were in agreement that he had the potential to go far.

Second into the ring was nine year old Hal who did Cher Lloyd proud with a cheeky rendition of the X Factor finalist’s ‘Want U Back’.

It was back to a string sensation for act three with Mark performing ‘Time Of Your Life’.

The Green Day track was a terrific song choice for the young strummer and like Alex, the judges were full of praise for Mark and his finger picking.

Not going down the conventional pop route was a choice many of the youngsters made so there wasn’t a One Direction or Saturdays song in sight.

Two years after the controversial songstress passed away, Sophie Ritchie tackled Amy Winehouse’s ‘Back to Black’ with ease.

Like the lady herself, Sophie had a distinct, quirky quality to her voice which lent itself well to the famous tune.

From one impressive female vocalist to another with a girl who was undoubtedly the star of the show.

All of the youngsters who took part did themselves proud but with a goosebump-inducing rendition of ‘I Dreamed A Dream’, Cara Heary was a cut above.

The 12 year old’s delivery of the testing musical standard was flawless and fully deserving of the rapturous applause she received.

Cara was a tough act to follow but following the interval, two young holidaymakers got the second half off to a fine start with their performance of ‘Rule The World’.

Lynella dance pupil Toni then captivated everyone with her Highland footwork, all the more impressive given she did it without any music.

Following a guitar mash-up from another visitor to the town, Eilidh, Brooke showed talent runs in the Heary family with her fantastic take on ‘Right Here Waiting’.

After some fine guitar work from Steven and David with their ‘Tango for the Herring Queen’ there were two fine vocal performances in a row. First up was Kianne with the Biffy Clyro hit ‘Miracle’, then the brilliant double act of Chloe and Mikal who had audiences ‘Stuck’ in jazz dream land with their dynamic duet.

There was just enough time for Cara to reprise her earlier performance and the youngster was visibly moved by the standing ovation she received.