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Sunday, May 16, 2010
Her first audition drew mostly positive comments from all of the show's judges. In her second appearance during the semi-finals Steel forgot the words of her song, broke down in tears and could not finish the song, but one of the programme's judges intervened and she was allowed to perform a second time.Steel advanced to the finals and finished in sixth place. She then toured the United Kingdom, making live performances with the series' other finalists in the summer of 2009.
In September 2009, Steel signed with a record label and began recording her debut album, which is due for release in May 2010.
Steel has been singing since the age of six when she showed interest in her brother Joshua's performances. She also attends the KLF Dance Academy in Burnley with him. Prior to Britain's Got Talent she performed in productions of Annie and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Steel's parents, Nina and Jason, who work as National Health Service audiologists, said that she was entered in Britain's Got Talent so she would not feel left out as they felt her older brother, Joshua, was more likely to progress.
Steel had serious pneumonia when she was four years old; fluid filled one of her lungs and surgeons considered removing the lung. She was instead hospitalised for three months at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital and underwent several operations to drain her lungs.
2009: Britain's Got Talent
Steel first auditioned for Britain's Got Talent in April 2009. In her first televised appearance, she began her number ballet dancing to "I Could Have Danced All Night" from the musical My Fair Lady, then, as judge Simon Cowell started to reach for the red rejection buzzer, she began singing the song with an unexpectedly powerful voice. She received a standing ovation from the audience and the approval of all four judges. Piers Morgan told Steel, "We have seen a lot of children on our show over the past three series and I have never heard any of them sing as well as you do". Kelly Brook was in tears and called her performance, "beautiful and lovely". Media reports at the time claimed that Steel had referred to Cowell as a bully for critical comments he made after her first appearance on the show; however, a blog at a Lancashire newspaper's web site that was attributed to Steel and her mother denied that she had ever made such a comment.
Commentators and mainstream media outlets speculated that she might defeat Susan Boyle, who had made an impression worldwide in the first show of the series. Over thirteen million viewers watched Steel's performance and, within one day of a video of her performance being posted on YouTube, over a million viewers had seen her worldwide. She was interviewed on US television via satellite link during NBC's Today show.
During her second appearance in Britain's Got Talent in May, Steel forgot her words and broke down mid-performance. After tearfully appealing for a second chance but being denied by the producers, Simon Cowell intervened saying, "I don't care how we do it but we will find the time somewhere to let you audition again", and she was allowed to perform a second time.Her second attempt at "Edelweiss" went well and she was praised by the judges for being accomplished and brave in the trying circumstances. Piers Morgan described it as "one of the gutsiest things I've ever seen in my life", and Steel was chosen by all three judges to progress to the final in preference to Greg Pritchard.The incident caused numerous commentators to debate whether children of this age should be allowed to compete in a TV show in which contestants are under such high pressure.
In the final, she performed the song Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again from Phantom of the Opera.Her performance was trouble-free and well-received, and the viewer voting resulted in her finishing in sixth place, receiving 3.9% of the reported 4 million votes.
Since Britain's Got Talent
During June and July 2009, Steel appeared in Britain's Got Talent – The Live Tour 2009 with most of the other finalists from the third series. She was home tutored between rehearsals and the start of the tour. The rehearsals were held at the Apollo Theatre in Hammersmith. The tour opened at Birmingham, England on 12 June 2009, and finished on 5 July 2009 at Bournemouth. During the live stage shows, Steel performed solo and also in combination with other artists such as 2 Grand, with whom she performed "Edelweiss" in Newcastle.
The Daily Mirror on 28 July 2009 reported that veteran performer and singer Rolf Harris wished to record a song with Steel that he composed. However, the project with Harris fell through and so Steel took on her own Christmas project.
In September 2009, Steel signed with record label VVR2, owned by Dave D'Mello, with whom she began recording her debut single "Where Are You, Christmas?" from the American film How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The single was released on 14 December 2009. The single, however, did not not make it into the top 40 in the UK Singles Chart due to having very little air time.
Steel's debut album, Hollie, is due to be released on 19 May 2010. The album will be released on Steel's own label, BB5 Records Limited, named after the Accrington postcode, and will include the Pendle’s Arden Youth Choir on some of the classical pieces.It will be distributed into shops and download stores by Universal. Steel's second single will be Edelweiss from The Sound of Music, to be released on 29 March 2010. Steel recorded at the sound studio in the ACE Centre in Nelson, Lancashire.