If you hear an angelic voice through the walls of the old church hall at St. Luke’s, it most likely belongs to Iris Del Castillo.
In the weeks before a competition, the church hall becomes her refuge – an empty space where she practices and belts out songs to fill the room.
A seasoned performer who has been competing since she was 15, Del Castillo will be practising hard for the next three evenings, perfecting the songs she will sing on Friday for a panel of celebrity and music industry judges at Variety’s Got Talent.
She’s picked two songs for the contest – Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah’ and Note to God, by Jojo.
“I still get nervous,” says Del Castillo, 23, who has also performed at the PNE.
“But now I know how to deal with it.”
Del Castillo snagged a spot in the finals after a video of her singing Hallelujah garnered the most votes on YouTube.
A student at Simon Fraser University, Del Castillo is currently interning at CTV, but still dreams about a career as a singer.
She says she’s studying broadcasting as a backup because it’s so hard to crack the music industry.
“I love singing, so it’s obviously something I would like to get into full-time.”
Del Castillo and Alexandria Maillot, a former Maple Ridge resident, join 11 finalists in the singing competition.
The winner will be selected by a panel of celebrity and industry judges, including music manager Bruce Allen and Vince Ditrich, from Spirit of the West.
The winner takes home a prize from Tom Lee Music and will appear on the Variety Show of Hearts Telethon which airs live on Global B.C. Feb. 11 and 12.
Last year’s winner, Shylo Sharity of Fort Langley, has been performing steadily and even opened for country music legend Wynonna Judd.
The Variety’s Got Talent finals take place on Friday, Feb. 3 at the River Rock Show Theatre. Tickets are $10 plus service charges and are available at www.varietysgottalent.ca.