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The search for stars got underway at Merton College recently, with an event to rival Simon Cowell's famous television talent show. Forget Britain's Got Talent, it was students from the Merton College who took to the stage to show off the impressive skills they usually keep under wraps in the classroom.

The Merton College talent show was the brainchild of business student Waqqas Ali, who decided to take charge of organising the event after hearing fellow students singing and playing instruments around the college.

With help from a committee of four other students and the college's enrichment team, they scheduled auditions and rehearsals, produced promotional materials and sold tickets for the show.

The 17-year-old said: "I saw there was an opportunity to create a buzz around the college by giving talented students a stage and bringing people together, so I took it. As a business student, event management is a great skill to put on my CV so it's been useful experience. It's definitely given me the motivation to organise more events this year."

merton college btec business Waqqas Ali

Over 70 students packed into the performance theatre to watch eight acts bravely step up to show off their skills and be in with a chance of being crowned the winner. The singers and dancers were judged on the roar of the crowd, and although competition was tough it was the singers who stole the show and impressed the audience to secure all three top spots.

1st place went to Skills For Working Life student, Matthew Allen, for his rendition of Passenger's Let Her Go. Sixth Form student Chardae D'acres-Hylton took 2nd place with her version of At Last by Etta James and 3rd place went to Aaliyah Joseph, also a Sixth Form student, who sang Price Tag by Jessie J accompanied by her guitar.

merton college btec business Mertons Got Talent show

Andrew Beardall, Head of Enrichment and Student Engagement, said: "Waqqas and his team did a fantastic job of bringing the show together and are a perfect example of the enterprising skills we encourage across the College. They've shown dynamism and complete commitment to the project and should be really proud of what they've achieved."

The money raised was used to fund the prizes. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place received £30, £20 and £10 High Street vouchers respectively.