Raw Talent Final  (From Tweed Shire Echo Newspaper – Issue 43: July 07, 2011)

It was glitter and glitz and a fine array of RAW Talent at last Saturday’s event at the Currumbin RSL. Organisers we happy with the event. ‘It was great to see so much support by locals,’ says the RSL’s Laura Versace. ‘It was also lovely to see the connections made between the entertainers themselves, all appreciating each other’s talents and commenting on the previous performance when on stage. Most hung around at the end of the night chatting to each other’.

The judges had a tough job and it took 20 minutes of solid deliberation to come up with the winner, singer songwriter Mick McHugh. Runner-up was Tanille Jade Porter. Beau Maynard won the encouragement award and Dom Wall blew the audience away with his beat boxing winning him a professional photo shoot for his efforts.

In the under-18 section the standard was far beyond the young years of many of the entrants. William Fairbairn again excelled in this section to run away with the junior title. Dancer Ashley Kate Walsh was runner up and Kaos a Kiss cover band brought the house down with their wicked drummer who was only 12 years old.

The judges were really good also and I’m so glad I didn’t have their job. During the weekly heats they deliberated in about five minutes at the end but this time they took close to 20 minutes to decide as it was a really tough decision for them.

Overall winner Mick McHugh was ecstatic with his win. Mick performed an original number entitled Dance and Sing for his winning piece. The song was written by Mick and his wife, Amanda. Mick says he was happy with his performance. ‘I work very hard, week in, week out performing so it gives me “match fitness” for when the big gig came up,’ says Mick. ‘The judges said that I was ready and should be playing at festivals. They said they didn’t feel like they should be commenting on me.’

This is Mick’s second foray into the world of talent quests – he had been on Australian Idol four years ago and got through first audition, but at the second audition, the producer of the show said: ‘This show is not for you. Just as Bob Dylan wouldn’t go through, you won’t go through’. Rejection hurt at the time, but it made total sense to Mick and helped him define his path and where he fit into the music industry.

Mick plays a residency gig every Thursday at Darcy Arms in Surfers and he is playing at The Coast Acoustics festival at Broadbeach in September for those who would like to have another taste. At present Mick is working on his debut studio album to help take his songs and music to the next level. It is due out later this year, so watch this space:  www.mickmchugh.com