Mayor Victor Robinson has hailed the talent in Newtownabbey as “mindblowing” following the first round of the council’s Search for a Star auditions.
Hopefuls auditions at the first heat of the competition on Saturday afternoon in the Abbey Centre in front a large crowd.
Mayor Victor Robinson said: “The talent on display was just unbelievable, I don’t know how we will get it down to just eight finalists.
“Everyone was so talented, you could have closed your eyes and thought the actual singer was in the room, it was amazing and just blew me away.”
One hopeful hoping to get his name in lights was Newtownabbey councillor Mark Cosgrove who took to the stage of the Abbey Centre.
However, the Antrim Line representative thought he was closer to home and called for the “Northcott” crowd to join in his rendition of ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’.
He told the Times: “It was just a laugh. At the Christmas dinner the mayor did a song and I said when it come to the Search for a Star I’ll do a turn.
“But I thought it would be in the back room somewhere in front of about four judges - not in the middle of the Abbey Centre on a busy Saturday.
“I was real nervous I didn’t realise it. Apparently at one of the high points I said ‘come on Northcott’, but I was so nervous I didn’t even realise when Victor pointed it out.
“There was an incredible array of talent on show. Carnmoney Primary School kids from P4 and P5 came on after me and did ‘Sitting on the Dock of the Bay’ and they were just amazing.
“I just took part for the craic, but there was some talent involved.”