Kenilworth girl group working ‘harder than ever’ for singing contest final

Belle Harmonie. From left to right: Molly Homer, Ellie Jackson, Lauren McDonnell and Rachel Fisher
Belle Harmonie. From left to right: Molly Homer, Ellie Jackson, Lauren McDonnell and Rachel Fisher

A Kenilworth girl group say preparations are “going really well” for their appearance in the grand final of a national singing competition on Saturday January 23.

Belle Harmonie, made up of Kenilworth friends Rachel Fisher, Molly Homer, Ellie Jackson and Lauren McDonnell, progressed to the final of the Open Mic UK competition in November, and have been rehearsing up to four times a week in preparation.

The group will be performing a mash-up of songs in the final called ‘Disturbed’. The mash-up incorporates Katy Perry’s ‘Dark Horse’, Rihanna’s ‘Disturbia’ and Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’.

Rachel said: “Because it’s the final, we decided to really push ourselves and do something quite ‘out there’.

“Our chances of winning are pretty slim, but every single person in the final has the potential to win. It really all depends on how it goes on the day.

“We have an edge because we’re so different, but we’re competing with the best of the best in the UK, so it’s going to be incredibly tough.

“It’s been so amazing to be given the opportunity to perform alongside some of the UK’s most talented singers and we’re just incredibly excited to have got to where we did.

“We’re keeping everything crossed and working really hard, harder than ever.”

The Open Mic UK final will be held at the NEC in Birmingham, and talent scouts from major record labels will be watching the finalists. A combined score from the judges and a public vote by text will determine the winner.

The band reached the final after progressing from an initial audition held in Milton Keynes in September, and progressing from the subsequent regional finals also held at the NEC.

Rachel added: “We got great comments from the panel of judges at the first auditions, and the regional final was an incredibly tough competition.

“It took us a good few seconds to realise they meant us when they said we were in the final. We were in absolute shock and we couldn’t believe it.”

The band originally formed at Kenilworth School in March 2012 for its charity concert Urban Sounds for Uyogo. Originally Molly and Rachel auditioned together for the concert, but they were put with Ellie purely by chance.

The three later approached Lauren as they knew she sang and thought the tone of her voice would match well with them.

Since then, the four have played gigs at many local events, including Christmas lights switch-ons in Kenilworth, Leamington and Warwick. Bruno Mars, Meghan Trainor and Little Mix are among the group’s influences.

To vote for Belle Harmonie, text OPEN31 to 84222. Texts cost £1.