Excitement builds as ‘Opportunity Knocks’ reaches semi-final stage

This year’s ‘Opportunity Knocks’ competition at the Central Hotel in Donegal Town is really hotting up now. After some amazing heats, featuring a wonderful range of talented performers, it’s down to the final 21. They’ll be going head to head over the next two Saturday nights, giving their all in pursuit of a mega-prize jackpot of €10,000.

This year’s ‘Opportunity Knocks’ competition at the Central Hotel in Donegal Town is really hotting up now. After some amazing heats, featuring a wonderful range of talented performers, it’s down to the final 21. They’ll be going head to head over the next two Saturday nights, giving their all in pursuit of a mega-prize jackpot of €10,000.

Eamonn Gillespie, who is MC, is expecting packed out houses. “Even at this early stage, the competition this year has been phenomenally successful.

“We started with 80 very talented acts and that was whittled down to 40 competing in the live shows. The performers and the audiences have both been wonderful and now it will all get even better.”

Judges for the next two weeks are singer songwriter Mickey Joe Harte, the Queen of Country Philomena Begley, and Deirdre McEnaney, Regional Marketing Manager, Donegal Democrat.

The 21 finalists performing over the next two Saturday nights are:

- Owen McLaughlin (24) from Buncrana. Owen writes his own music and hopes Opportunity Knocks will be a launch pad for his music.

- ‘REC’ from Dunkineely - Evan Breslin (18) on drums, Connie McGrory on bass and Cathal Roper on guitar. This hot young band aspire make their living from playing.

- Ciara Lynch (14) from Inver and Alison Edwards (15) from Laghey. Both attend the Abbey Voc. School.

- Gary Hynes (23) from Dromore West Sligo spends most of his spare time writing music.

- Keri Marie Kelly (11) from Buncrana. Blind from birth, this talented young lady is self taught on the piano.

- Kyle O’Neil (19) from Letterkenny has supported Daniel O’Donnell and Eurovision winner Charlie McGettigan.

- Megan McGarvey (15) from Gortahork - a beautiful singer.

- ‘The Noisy Neighbours’ . Corey McDermot (21), Eoghan McDermott (23) and Sean Rynolds (24) from Ballyshannon provide a great mix of drum beats with luminous lighting.

- Breid Marie Byrne (11) from Loughanure Annagry is also one of the youngest performers in the competition. She has the voice of an angel.

- Paddy ‘Seahorse’ Molloy (21) from Glenties is no stranger to the music scene. He writes his own music and is a great performer.

- Tom Wolf (37) Belleek. The man on the piano with the voice!

- Conal Herron (28) from Glenties is a regular and popular fixture on the Donegal live music circuit.

- ‘Rising Colours’ Kimberley Harris on vocals and Shane Gallagher on piano are a great duo.

- ‘Serial Twin’. Michael Gallagher, Ciaran McNamara and Damien McGlanaghey of Donegal Town make up this talented, entertaining band.

- ‘Red Harmony’. Caitriona (15) and Rory Williams (17) are a brother and sister act who genuinely impress.

- Sharon Scanlon (21). This beauty from Ballybofey plays the piano beautifully.

- Zara Gillespie and Michael Dufey from Ballybofey danced their way to Semis and will leave you breathless after their performance.

- Bridgeen Caldwell and Noel Ward from Barnesmore are another great duo.

- Shannon Gallagher (13) is from St John’s Point. Her considerable talent belies her tender years.

- ‘Sister Act’ from Ballybofey are a fabulous group of dancers who really up the tempo.

- Simon McCafferty (22) from Drumkeen is another great guitar player with a wonderful voice.

Come along and enjoy some fantastic talent from Donegal’s up and coming new acts. Arrive early to be sure of getting a seat!

Doors open at 7.15pm. Show starts at 8pm.