Mae Challis is The Next Big Thing 2014

maeThe 15-year-old singer songwriter took the title in the final of Junior Achievement’s talent contest for 10 to 17-year-olds at the Gaiety Theatre on Saturday January 25th, playing guitar and keyboard and singing one of her own compositions.

Mae, a member of Douglas Soundcheck, won £500 sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Runner-up was singer Christian Cooper,12, whose singing of ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ won him £250 donated by Manx Professional and Educational Services Ltd, while third place went to 13-year-old drummer Callum Davies, who won £150 donated by MC Locksmith Services Ltd.

The evening was compèred by James Turpin and 2012 X Factor finalist Christopher Maloney, who opened the show, was the guest judge for the contest that saw 15 acts compete in the final before an audience of around 800.

The evening also featured a guest appearance from Gena’s Dance Academy and a high-energy closing performance by East London rapper duo G.T.F (Got The Formula).

Junior Achievement’s chief executive Sue Cook said: ‘Every year we’re always amazed to see just how much truly fantastic talent is revealed. In the run-up to the final 162 acts auditioned and it was a really hard job for the judges to reach their decision about which final 15 should go through.

‘Now in its third year The Next Big Thing has captured the hearts and minds of the people of the Isle of Man who are incredibly supportive. We’re very grateful to our all sponsors, in particular Paragon Recruitment, Energy FM and Manx Telecom, and to all the people who help make this contest happen; without their support the Next Big Thing would never be as “big” as it is.’

The curtain may have gone down on the Next Big Thing 2014…but there’s always 2015. For more information visit or follow Junior Achievement on Facebook thenextbigthingisleofman