It’s that time of year again when you suddenly notice the evenings getting longer, the temperatures beginning to rise and the staging once again of Donegal’s most popular talent competition.
Opportunity Knocks is now in its second consecutive year and the thronged ballroom in the Central Hotel in Donegal Town proved that the public had not tired of talent competitions despite the plethora of shows on television - The Voice, X-Factor, Britain’s Got Talent to name but a few.
On Saturday night they came from every corner of the county in search of that golden opportunity to win part or indeed, all of the €10,000 prize fund and also advance their musical careers. There is no doubt that when it comes to talent we might have it on the football field but it’s also there on the stage as performers from Glenswilly, Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glenties and Donegal Town proved last weekend.
One girl who captured the imagination of all 300 guests in the ballroom was eleven-year-old Keri Marie Kelly from Buncrana who was born blind but never regarded it as an obstacle, just a challenge. Keri Marie is totally self taught on the piano and has a voice that would melt anyone’s heart.
With her renderings of Adele numbers she impressed both the judges and the audience and sang her way through to the semi- finals.
The winners on the night left everybody in the room in awe - Kimberly Harris and Shane Gallagher who came back for the second year in a row - how this duet known as Rising Colours are not on The Voice mystified everybody. Without a doubt these are serious contenders for the overall top prize.
Eamonn Gillespie of the Central Hotel was thrilled with how things went on Saturday night.
“This has been a tremendous opening night - full of talent and inspiration; no doubt we have a great competition to look forward to.”