The Welsh Factor National Final 2019


The Welsh Factor Talent Competitions
National Final 2019

Now the dust has settled and the excitement simmered, we sit and reflect on what was yet another fantastic show put on by The Welsh Factor Talent Competitions for the 2019 National Grand Final. 
The acts throughout the heats were all simply outstanding, and as we all have said a great many times, “you are all winners in our eyes”, but, overall winners had to be picked, something that was found to be an exceptionally hard job with the extreme quality we had here at the final. 
Over the weeks and months leading up to this extravaganza, starting in May 2018, the contestants battled relentlessly at various venues across the country, fighting for their very own pole position in the quarter finals and semi-finals, with their hopes and dreams set for the final and to hold that trophy. 
Set at The Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli, West Wales here in the UK, the atmosphere was electric as soon as you stepped into the arena as everyone took to their seats for a breath-taking evening of entertainment.
Father and Daughter team Gareth and Anna Marie Thomas  spared no expense as always, with attention to detail paramount, giving us in visuals alone a show second to the X Factor itself with £500,000 of equipement used on the night.

The backdrop for the stage was created by way of a digital screen, giving us the best digital visuals money can buy to help storyboard each performance to the max. And of course, none of this would have been possible without sound and lighting, doing everyone proud with a technical ability that was second to none, bringing out the best in every contestant, all supplied and controled by Rees Sound Systems LtdIt’s always a hard job creating the perfect sound at any venue, especially with one as large as The Selwyn Samuel Center where acoustics bounce from floor to ceiling, sending your tonal center up the wall. It was nice to be in the company of true professionals here, creating the perfect sound and ambience, projecting every vocalist to the back wall of the arena with extreme clarity.

Rees Sound Systems Ltd, based in Carmarthen, are the sole providers of sound & lighting at the venue whilst its an events arena for the best part of 6 months of the year, every year, and it’s their 2nd year working with the The Welsh Factor.

Jamie, from JD Entertainmentsis the main stage manager and sound engineer for all the Welsh Factor  shows, with a great team behind him assisting him in all areas of the show including photography alongside  Anna Marie Thomas.  Jamiehas been working with The Welsh Factor for 7 years and is their right hand man when it comes to the full production of every show, and has got the most important job on the day of the final to make sure the show runs like clockwork. Together with the team of sound, lighting, media staff, venue staff and judges, there were a total of 70 people who worked that day. 

JD Entertainments also supplied us with the photo booth which was very popular with all the finalist and spectators on the day. 

Using the best visuals in the business available today we were all treated to and fantastic laser show from Luminent Creative, setting the scene for every act to perfection, picking out every single detail to portray each and every performance. 

Keeping us all entertained in-between the acts as always was our compere for the evening 
Mr Kev Johns MBE from Swansea Sound, whose quick wit kept us all on our toes throughout the event. Kev, has been the compere for a great many Welsh Factor events over the years, not only at the main events, but throughout the heats, and no one was more delighted than Kev to not only see everyone step up their game over the months climbing the ladder to the final, but to see a great many still standing before us all. Kev, Radio Presenter, Actor, After Dinner Speaker, Compere, Pantomime Dame and all round nice guy, knows first-hand what it takes to walk the boards himself, and has always been great support of not only The Welsh Factorbut to every contestant over the years who he has met over a great many stages around Wales, and has always been there to lend advice and encourage each and every one. From an artist’s point of view, to see Kev on the stage entertaining us all puts everyone at ease and strengthens their passion to succeed and hit the stage with confidence. 
The whole set design and set up was the brainchild of producer and CEO of The Welsh Factor,
Anna Marie Thomas, who spent many long hours piecing the show together step by step for our pleasure, taking her just over 3 months to put all the visual audio together once all tracks have been submitted. That’s where the hard work and long hours really start for her, followed by a very long and full week of setting, up as the video above shows.
Kev Johns held everything and everyone together perfectly as he conducted the stage and proceeded in the usual seamless and professional manner, and kept everyone calm with his attention to detail and quick wit.

The Judges

Joining me on the panel of judges, in no particular order was;

Jonathan Davies, BA Honors in Event Management and Wedding Planning Diploma.  
Jonathan has 
20+ years in industry as a director / producer, technical / stage manager and now the owner of a 350 capacity Community Arts Venue, playing host to a great many of the heats in the competition throughout the year. 

Morgan Westcott
 award winning international vocalist. 

For the last 2 years, Morgan has been around the world performing his very own classical crossover show Bring Him Home’,  and now can be seen performing from concerts to cruiseships worldwide. 
In 2012, Morgan entered The Welsh Factor where he was awarded best newcomer in the Merthyr heat and took first place in Cardiff. He was also placed first in both the musical theatre and classical category (for his age range) in the Herefordshire Festival. He has performed the part of The Artful Dodger alongside Peter Karrie in St Davids HallCardiff for The British Heart Foundation and has recorded a track with Martyn Joseph for his Broken Peace album (to commemorate the Tonypandy Riots) entitled Twelve years old‘, joining Martyn on stage during two dates of his UK Tour.

Danny Rolls, Professional Dancer and Dance Teacher.
Danny has been dancing since the age of six. He has appeared on the show Got to Dance on Sky One and is a member of The Associates National Dance Company of Wales and was a finialist in The UDO World Street Dance Championships. He has recently qualified for the European Dance Championships and
 is proficient in many styles of dance including Tap, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Commercial and Street Dance and has recently graduated from The Bird College of Performing Arts, London, in Professional Musical Theatre and Dance. Despite all of the styles he has studied, his love has always been Street Dance and is the dance coach for a great many Street Dancers in workshops across Pembrokeshire on a regular basis.

Phil Evans,
 professional comedian.

Phil is a long standing judge on The Welsh Factor panel and is also a well renowned stand up comedian of local and international acclaim. He also writes original material and has been involved with S4C in many of their programmes. Phil was the driving force in promoting Factor Cymraeg Talent Show (as a pilot) where Lizzie Crawford (who is bilingual) was discovered and promoted by S4C. Phil has also promoted the Welsh Factor brand on a journalistic basis and throughout Social Media. Phil promotes his own shows and can conduct his act through the medium of Welsh and English.

And myself,  Ian Davies International Music Journalist and owner of Stargazer Music Magazinewith over 25 years in the music industry writing for the high profile and A list celebrity artists, receiving International Acclaim and Global Recognition for works to date through music magazines around the world. Along the way, I have been a DJ in London and Brighton nightclubs and performed the original Street Dance on stages across London and worked as a session drummer for London and Brighton studios for a great many solo artists. I have my own platform called Solo Sound Productions writing soundtracks for use on TV, Film and adverts and the author of a book of classically written poetry called Inspirationswith various social media platforms promoting my work where my creative writing comes from, found on Creative Creations and Inspire .

Over the months we prided ourselves in narrowing down some incredible talent to the best of the best. But as the semi-finals approached, it was apparent to all of us that we had pretty much painted ourselves into a corner, making the job in the final a near impossible task. But, winners in all categories had to be found, and that’s just what we did. But if an overall winner had to be found, I think you would find me hiding under the judge’s panel until it was all over, as that job would have been near impossible with the extreme talent on display that evening. 
Thanks also go out to Kirsten Orsborn and Grace Parry, both professional singers who sat on the panel on may occasions in the quarter and semi finals, helping us reach the amazing line-up we had on the night, and for that we are all truly thankful. It was evident to all of us that we were in the presence of greatness in all categories, as you could have heard a pin drop within the audience as every act performed. In looking around the room you could see tears of pride and joy being wiped from attentive faces as we all looked on in awe, and  was testament unto itself, with a great many standing ovations sealing the deal, with a fair few tears from the panel also.


As pictured in all slideshows throughout this article, we were graced with performances from 60 incredible acts all set to impress, with a passion to succeed and a hunger to win. As the show was kicked off with dance, I will feature them first here. Every troupe, group, crew or even solo dance act hit the stage with vigour, all in a blaze of colour from costume to props. The sheer style, grace, poise and deportment here was first rate by all, as they all painted that perfect picture right before our eyes captured in dance. As attention to detail and absolute precision was paramount here, this only left us all breathless, keeping the dance judges on their toes.
Every single performance could have been watched again and again, with every single dancer a credit to their coach, and every coach being at the top of their game here also in achieving such great results for our pleasure as we all looked on in sheer amazement. I found myself captivated by the energy emitted from every performer within each act, and totally engrossed in the story-line portrayed. As I am not a dance judge, the descriptions to a great many moves were lost on me. But I know what is good, and found myself amazed as Danny Rolls simply ticked off every move, style and technique with ease as they hit every single one effortlessly.

The Circuit Symphony

Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

Ready on stage two, primed and ready to go was The Circuit Symphony Lead by Oliver Davis. This Retro-Nostalgic Synthesizer Band complete with full laser show wowed every last man standing with a broad range of displays and effects reaching out not only over the whole arena but almost infinity.
Inspired by Jean Michel Jarre Vince Clarke (Erasure /Depeche mode/Assembly, The Orb Vangelis Mike Oldfield, The Smiths and Morrissey, Oliver equipped with synthesized technology from the past and present painted a picture in sound alone of this very colorful era and genre. Over the years, Oliver has been lucky enough to have performed with Nick Beggs from Kajagoogoo, Steve Wilson who played bass on his New Romantic single and Bernie Marsden from Whitesnake fame who played lead guitar on his Christmas 1974 single. Along the way Oliver has remixed OMDs single Dresden, Programmed sounds for Eddie Grant, Howard Jones and being the technical midi services for Take That’s “Progress” Tour and many more. What we witnessed on Saturday night was a master class of technical wizardry, complete with a laser harp that completely stole the show.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

I met Sienna only moments before her performance playing quite happily behind the safety barriers leading to the stage. But as soon as our eyes met I was bombarded by the usual high fives and high ten’s as is usually the case in previous meetings. Now for those that don’t know Sienna, when I say “Playing” behind the barriers, that’s exactly what I mean as this little superstar is only five years old, yet performs like she has been doing this 100 years. Rapping Man Not Hot, and In My Feelings Sienna took to the stage like her tour bus was waiting in the wings ready for the 02 arena.

In recent talks with her parents, they went on to tell me;

“None of this is our doing, this is all her, this is all Sienna and her dream, even right from the start, when out of the blue she had learned and started performing tracks from Big Shaq around the house and always had the determination that she wanted to perform to the public. So we started putting things in place for her to give it a try. No one could have been more shocked and proud as we are today to see our little girl in the spotlight and to the enormity of some of these audiences, all thanks to Anna Marie Thomas and her team at The Welsh Factor.”

Now with the glitz and glamour of the big stage firmly ingrained, Sienna is now set to impress and is most definitely one to look out for in future years.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

Now here’s someone who wasn’t fazed by the weather in the slightest with an outfit displaying more gaps than the clouds, Broganne braved the weather and soon started to warm up the audience with an action packed performance still under the glow of a still blazing fire. As always, Broganne hit the stage with a style, grace and confidence that would be the envy of many as she stirred up her audience just enough to keep them on their toes and wanting more. Her attention to detail within her choreography has always been first class and here again in true Broganne style, she didn’t let us down dazzling us with everything she had as she stepped it up another notch. Singing, Friends, John Wayne, Attention and Ruin My Life, Broganne’s performance was truly first class, 100% on the money and could have quite easily be a main act for the evening.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

Every time I meet this young lady I can literally see the stars in her eyes, which becomes more apparent the closer it gets to her performances. Singing Ruin My Life, Perfect Strangers, I’m A Mess and Perfect To Me, Tia helped us drift away and soothed our souls in a way that needs to be seen live. And although her use of the stage normally is kept to a minimum, it’s her connection with her audience through her performance, her enunciation and poise in the spotlight and extreme belief in the words she sings that takes Tia into a whole different league. In the short time I have had the pleasure of knowing this young lady I have already seen a fast progression in her performances taking her higher in media rankings giving her the best chance possible to succeed.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

Just as the bonfire was starting to fade, up steps Talisia who hit us hard right from the get go with A Man’s World, I Will Survive, and something’s Got Hold of Me. The extreme power emitted by Talisia was enough to shake every last man standing as she projected her voice to the perimeter of the arena and beyond bringing more and more people ever closer to the stage. Her connection with her audience and attitude in delivery was so passionate that she had her audience in the palm of her hand as she reached out believing every last word as they left her lips. Although she didn’t use the stage as much as most, the emotion through her vocals alone was most certainly enough.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

Closing the show, and for a very good reason, was Familia, leaving us with their well thought out routines, action packed performance with harmonies to die for. Singing, River Deep Mountain High, Dancing Queen and Impossible Dream sisters, Faith and Amelia started their performance as they meant to go on wowing us all with tight deliveries, both vocally and in dance, well-choreographed routines and a first class connection with each other resulting in yet another scintillating performance from start to finish on point to the very last detail. And even though Faith and Amelia and have their very own solo careers, something very special always happens when these two sisters get together as they electrify the audience and dazzle us all in song every single time.


Porthcawl charity bonfire night 2018

In all, a full bag of top class entertainment all round.
Now, as the last of the quarter final heats has been completed following this event, we have to wait now until January to see who has made it to the semi-finals then on to spring 2019 for the final. As a judge on the panel, it has been an absolute delight being part of the team for this year into next. The talent this year has been truly outstanding giving us a hard task with all involved narrowing down the list to the best of the best, but there will be a winner, so stay tuned on the links below from The Welsh Factor Talent Competitions, Showboat TV and of course ourselves here at Stargazer Music Magazine, as we continue to keep you posted, ready for the final in due course.

Special thanks go out to;

CEO’s of the Welsh Factor

Anna Marie Thomas

Garth Thomas

Door Staff


Ruth Barclay

Faith Foster


Dave Rees


Mark Massocchi

Alun Richards


Lewis Jones

Lazer department

Oliver Davis

Dean Lawrence

Welsh Factor Staff

Jamie Daniels

Kayleigh Daniels

Craig Newt

Owain White

John Taylor

Dawn North

Stargazer Music Magazine

Stage and Top Table Judges

Kev Johns

Phil Evans

Danny Rolls

Jonathan Davies

Morgan Westcott

Ian Davies

Dog Section


Molly The Mascot

Chefs and kitchens

Lynne Francis

Ryan Jenkins

Paul Francis

Ken Francis


Liam Humphries


Paul Richard Francis

Personal Assistant to M.D.


Jake Bonniwell


Liam Humphries


Front of house

Alison Davies

Max Taylor

Holly Spires

Owen Davies

Lewis Spires

Steve Williams

Dan Williams

Arena Bars

Cameron Morgan

Stacey Davies

Rod Davies

Craig Clayton

Manager 1 Liam Humphries

Manager 2 Sue John

Manager 3 Ali Davies

Manager 4 Steve Williams

Kiosk and Refectory

Ryan Jenkins

Dan Williams

Lynne Francis

Pimms and Champagne

Rebecca Jones

Tills and Payments

Angelique Doyle

Kitty Lewis

Ken Francis

Ali Francis

Kion Francis

Coffee station

Brandon Davies

Arena sections

Holly Spires

Owain Davies

Lewis Spires

Back of House

Craig Evans

Stop and Search Attendants

Jonathon Williams

Richard Parker

Door Staff and Security

Kath Williams

Louise Williams

St Johns Ambulance
Llanelli Crew

Anyone wishing to compete in this competition and enrole in the academy simply click the link below.

The Welsh Factor Academy

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