Teen Toni aiming for top in contest

Toni Boyle
Toni Boyle

A talented teenager from Leven will travel to Birmingham later this month to perform in front of hundreds at the finals of a national singing contest.

Toni Boyle (17) is the only Scottish act through to the finals of the TeenStar contest - which was won by X Factor contestant Luke Friend in 2013 - after beating stiff competition at the semi-finals in Manchester in May.

Now, with just under three weeks to go until the finals at the NEC in Birmingham, Toni and her family are busy raising funds for the trip down there, and already have huge support from locals, including Methilhill Bowling Club.

Mum Karen is over the moon for her daughter: “I’m extremely proud. I’m very happy that she has managed to get that far.

“We’re not too sure how many she is up against in the late teen category, but we think it could be around 25 others.”

On the day, Toni will be joined by at least 29 supporters, all keen to see her perform and hoping she can win the contest.

“There’s family and friends going down, as well as some people from Fife Autism where Toni volunteers as well,” said Karen.

And it isn’t just family and friends who will be supporting Toni - local MSP David Torrance has offered his backing and has even put a motion forward to congratulate her in Parliament for being the only Scottish contestant.

For Toni, it’s quite surreal.

“I never expected to get this far in the competition let alone be the only Scottish person in the final,” she said.

Classically trained in singing as a child, Toni only picked up a guitar two years ago and is completely self-taught.

In the first round of the talent contest in Glasgow, she wowed the judges with her own song, and said she is thinking about the same tactics for the finals.

“I did my own in the first round, a cover in Manchester, and now I’m thinking about going back to my own for the finals.

“I normally get nervous just before I go on stage, so I’m not too worried at the moment.”

In the past year, Toni has played at pubs and clubs across Fife, including The Greenside, O’Connells and Bar 25, as well as festivals and shows.

“I think playing those sorts of gigs has really helped to give me more confidence,” she said.

And it isn’t just the TeenStar competition Toni has to look forward to this month - she will be playing the famous Wickerman Festival in East Kirkcarswell.

Having just graduated from Buckhaven High, she is looking to focus on her singing and hopes the festival will open up a whole load of new avenues for her as a performer.

TeenStar takes place on Saturday, July 19.