Twelve-year-old Amy wins The Next Big Thing 2017


_ASC2134Amy Gravestock’s rendition of the Whitney Houston classic “I Have Nothing” has won her the title Next Big Thing 2017.

The 12-year-old was one of 14 acts competing at Manx charity Junior Achievement’s talent contest for 10 to 18-year-olds at the Gaiety Theatre on Saturday February 4.

For achieving first place the Bemahague School student also won £500, sponsored by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Runner-up was Scran, eight musicians whose performance of traditional Manx music won them £250 sponsored by Manx Professional and Educational Services.

Third place went to Sapphire Souls, whose contemporary dance routine saw them presented with £150 sponsored by The Platform Theatre School.

The People’s Choice Award, voted for on the night by the audience, went to Act Natural, six best friends and singer songwriters from St Ninian’s High School. Sponsored by Baker Tilley Isle of Man, the award is in memory of Soundcheck youth worker Paul Cooper, one of the Next Big Thing’s earliest supporters and source of inspiration.

Now in its sixth year, the show was sponsored by Paragon Recruitment, Energy FM and the Sefton Group plc and opened with a performance on the electric violin by last year’s winner Tabitha Templer.

Judges were Jo Wood of Paragon Recruitment, Merita Taylor, Coral Amphlett, winner of the Next Big Thing 2013 and MotoGP rider Sam Lowes.

Junior Achievement’s chief executive Sue Cook said: “Once again the standard was extremely high. Over 100 young hopefuls came to the auditions and revealed some truly outstanding talent, so it was a real challenge to decide on the 14 finalists. On the night of the final it was an equally hard job for the judges to select the three top places.

‘The Next Big Thing is far more than a talent contest. It has become an eagerly anticipated high-profile community event that brings together young people and their families and friends, along with local businesses and our fantastic team of volunteers.

‘This show wouldn’t be the same without the tremendous support of the audience, who give these young performers so much encouragement, and the generosity of our sponsors, to whom we’re enormously grateful.

‘Every one of the 14 acts rose to the occasion and seized the opportunity to be the best they can on the Gaiety Theatre stage in front of a packed house. They were all brilliant ambassadors for the youth of the Isle of Man and I’m sure they will have inspired some of the young people in the audience to enter the Next Big Thing 2018.”

Applications for The Next Big Thing 2018 open in September 2017. To find out more follow thenextbigthingisleofman on Facebook or visit

Junior Achievement is a member of Junior Achievement Europe which works with 31,380 schools, with the help of 116,687 teachers and 164,363 business volunteers to empower 3,454,750 million students across 39 countries