A YOUNGSTER from Consett who had both her hands amputated as a toddler after contracting meningitis has this evening won the final of CBBC’s hit singing competition. 

Tilly Lockey, 15, clinched victory on the hit talent show Got What It Takes? after beating fellow finalists Oscar and George with a reworked cover of Sia’s “Bird Set Free” track.

The song included a self-penned rap about children needing to shrug off the judgement of others and not worry about the need to conform.

Tilly, of Blackhill, also performed Lizzo’s “Cuz I Love You” in the final.

On winning, Tilly said “I am absolutely shocked!

"I never won a sing off in the show - everyone was so good. 

"I never thought for a second that I’d actually win."

Talking about the inspiration behind the rap she wrote, Tilly said: “It was a day I was feeling quite angry with the world about discrimination, ableism and racism.

"I wrote a journal entry about how I felt and turned it into a rap and put it in a song to sing on Got What it Takes?”

After the results of a semi-final public vote (combined with a Series Leaderboard), three of the five contestants made it through to perform across two rounds, with Tilly crowned the winner.

The Got What It Takes? Grand Final aired on CBBC this evening, bringing an end to the nine 30-minute series which begun in May 2021.

It saw guest stars including musical artist Raye, Radio 1’s Vick Hope and singer and actor Conor Maynard lead weekly challenges for the contestants.

Grand Final Judges Becky Hill, singer, Jonas Blue, a producer and Radio One DJ Ricky Haywood-Williams were bowled over by Tilly's performance.

Becky said: “I could tell you were angry that day…all of that emotion you felt, I could feel it, it was almost like I could sit and picture you writing all that.

"It was said so eloquently, beautifully, it was performed with such grace.

"I’m a massive, massive fan of yours.”

The Northern Echo:

Tilly onstage with her family after her victory

Tilly’s Mum Sarah said: “I was blown away by all the kids.

"Tilly’s performance just gave me goose bumps in the final.

"I know she wants to put motivational words into music to mirror her public speaking and she has just proved to us how well she can do that.

"I’m ridiculously proud of her.” 

Tilly, the self-dubbed ‘bionic girl’, is a double amputee who was diagnosed with Meningococcal Septiceamia Strain B when she was 15-months-old which caused her to lose her hands.

She now wears bionic arms.

She said: “I want to show people that just because you are a little bit different, doesn’t mean that you’re not going to go far.

"A disability and difference doesn’t stop you from achieving your hopes and dreams.

"I feel like it’s really, really important that people know that there are no limits to what you can achieve."

An Instagram star already with 100K followers, Tilly is a TV presenter and motivational speaker who regularly travels around the world to speak out against ableism and discrimination. 

She has also been a presenter on Sky Kids’ FYI since September 2020.

All episodes of Got What It Takes? are available on BBC iPlayer.

Series 6 of Got What It Takes was presented by Anna Maynard and Melvin Odoom and executive produced by Fiona Piper for Fulwell 73 and Melissa Hardinge for CBBC.

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