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Over 100 talented locals have been battling it out over the last week to be crowned winner of Edmonton Green’s Xmas Factor 2012, sponsored by new retailer Wilkinson’s and St. Modwen, the Centre’s owner. With the competition split over two heats, Saturday 1st December saw 20 hand picked finalists return to the stage on the centre’s Concourse to sing in front of a gathered crowd and a panel of judges.

With a whole range of ages and genres, the final saw a close competition with the judges having to choose just one winner and runner up in two categories: under 18’s and 18 and above. There was everything to play for as the winners of the Xmas Factor in each category received £500 each with runners up taking home £125 in cash.

After a close call, the judges awarded first prize in the over 18’s category to singer Krystal Walsh, 18, who blew them away with her a capella performance of Alicia Key’s ‘Girl On Fire’. Second place was awarded to Gareth Barnett, 30, who made the top two with a soulful rendition of James Morrison’s ‘You Give Me Something’.

In the under 18’s category, the top prize was taken by guitarist and singer Prisca Awiti, 16, who impressed everyone firstly with an acoustic version of Enrique Iglesias’ ‘Hero’ in the heats and then with her own song in the final. Ellen Blane, 15, scooped second place with her stunning performance on an acoustic guitar of Taylor Swift’s ‘Safe and Sound’.

The judging panel who decided the winners included Roger Allen (Centre Manager at Edmonton Green), Lorna Reynolds (headmistress of Latymer All Saints Primary School) and Toni-Ann Paul (mother of Britain’s Got Talent star Malachi Paul).

Roger Allen said; “It is very clear from Saturday that North London is brimming with talented singers. The standard this year was very high and the decision was extremely hard for me and my fellow judges. Everyone who entered did a fantastic job despite the cold weather but there can only be two winners. Both Krystal and Prisca blew us away with their unique performances and I’m sure one day they will be household names up and down the country”

Roger Allen also hinted during the event that next year’s event will take place within the summer and will take the form of a talent show contest where entrants will be able to show off other talents as well as singing.