The UKAPP competition is a UK amateur competition which is in its second year. I attended the Manchester heat in August where my friend Gemma won overall performer. (UKAPP this year had 4 entry levels - the winner of each level, plus the best perfomer of the night went through to the finals - see here for more info).
I was going to write about the Manchester heat, but it all got a little hairy, so I didn't want to fuel anything, but fires are burning anyway and my current writing won't fuel them.
I have to say that from all my experiences with UKAPP (as a competitor last year and a spectator in a heat and the final this year), they are likely the best run competition in the UK. They are well set up and keep to schedule. The judging criteria is clear and generally good. It's a great thing to watch.
The final was held in St Albans, which is a little out of the way for those in the North. I was lucky enough to tie my visit down there with other activities, but I heard it was a horrendously early start for the competitiors with lots of travelling, However, the location was beautiful and seemed to be well equipt.
The MC for all the heats and the final was the amazing Sally-Ann Giles. I have to say that she was an excellent host. She's a very engaging and charismatic speaker. She tied everything together smoothly. Plus, in the final we got to see her perform, which is always awesome. All the judges performed at the final too. I really enjoyed seeing Chantelle Pritchard perform (again, as always) and Annie Norris. I'd never seen Justine McLucas perform, and I enjoyed her perfomance too. I was a little less impressed with the international judges.
The performer category was extremely entertaining. I love how well this category worked. There were some really well thought out perfomances, from funny to well characterised. Gemma's performance in this category nearly had us in tears of happiness.
The intermediate category was impressive. There were some incredible performers in this one too. I was completely charmed by the winner of this category -she had such an amazing smile and really loved what she was doing.
The expert category was awesome and somewhat intimidating. There were 4 performers in particular who had me with my jaw on the floor. Bendy Kate, who won the category and Lauren who was runner up and overall performer of the night were particularly amazing. Lauren's was such a great show and she really deserved that title. It was intimidating in that I will likely compete against many of them in a couple of months' time and I honestly don't know if I measure up!
The intructor category was good, but a little odd. I have to say, before the results came out I would have expected the two most audience popular entries to win (they did have the best characterisation and theme), but the better trixter and dancer won. That said, Sam Cowie is a beautiful performer and did deserve it. There won't be this category next year. I also thought that many of the experts were better than the instructors - maybe they have more time to practice their own stuff?
That said, I'm really looking forward to next year. UKAPP puts on a great show.