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Friends go head-to-head in music contest
LIFELONG friends will be putting their relationship to the test this month to battle it out in a music competition.
Laima Bite and Sarah Wilson-Blackwell, both 30, have been friends since they were five.
But they face their biggest test in 25 years after both qualified for the regional stage of Open Mic UK, which aims to find the country’s best singers, singer-songwriters, rappers and vocalists.
The winner will receive a recording contract and £50,000.
Mrs Wilson-Blackwell said: “Laima and I met at primary school and have been friends ever since.
“From Wood Farm First School through to Headington Middle School and onwards, we have always been best mates.
“I even taught her to play the guitar. She was quite shy before that, so I think I created a monster.
“She is my best friend and always will be, which I’m not sure many people can say about someone they met when they were five.”
The two used to sing together at school and later as duo ‘Michael Myers’, but went their separate musical ways.
Mrs Wilson-Blackwell said: “She joined a band and I joined another one – the problem is that you can’t have two lead singers in a band.
“But we always supported each other and went to each other’s gigs.”
Both went to audition in Cheltenham and beat competition from hundreds of other applicants.
They will now be pitted against dozens of other singers for a place in the national grand final at London’s O2 Arena.
Judges include pop star Dane Bowers, Lee Latchford-Evans from ’90s group Steps and former Atomic Kitten Liz McClarnon.
When asked if their friendship would withstand such a test, Mrs Wilson-Blackwood said: “Of course we will survive this – we have always been friends and always will be, no matter what.
“Although we are competing against each other, we wanted to support one another because of our friendship.
“And if one of us gets through, we will be happy regardless.”
The women will go head-to-head at The Coal Exchange, in Cardiff, on Sunday, October 24.
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