A TEENAGER has taken the biggest step of her singing career yet by taking to the stage for ITV talent contest The Voice Kids.

Jessica Richardson, 13, from Langdon Hills, dreams of becoming a hit in the music industry and has been singing since she was just a little girl.

Although she has performed on stage in many local talent shows, she was “over the moon” to be selected as one of the few young singers to get through the rigorous audition process to sing in front of the show’s coaches Pixie Lott, Will.I.Am and McFly frontman Danny Jones.

She said: “I have always loved singing from when I was very young.

“I’ve always wanted to make it big in the music industry although I know it will take some time.

“I’ve done local competitions but have never got too far in them but just thought it’s been experience for the future.

“But I’ve never done anything like The Voice Kids, this is the biggest I have every done.

“It’s crazy to think that I’m doing this show when nine years ago I was playing with my dolls making them do talent competitions and dreaming... it didn’t even feel like a possibility back then.”

The young singer, who goes to St Martin’s School in Brentwood, first had to undergo several auditions in front of producers to be considered for the show, which follows the same formula as the adult version; singers perform “blind” auditions in front of the judges, who then turn their chairs around to see them if they want the singer in their team.

Jessica was delighted to be picked to be picked for the televised blind auditions of the children’s version and chose to sing Somebody to Love by Queen.

She said: “I was pretty nervous; I was physically shaking and nearly crying I was so nervous.

“It’s such a big stage. They rushed me in and started doing my make-up.

“Everyone was really crowding around it was really nerve-wracking.

“Then a woman said she would say 123 and I would go on. I said that’s fine and she went “123” and the camera started moving and I was like, ‘Now?’ Everything happened so, so fast.”

Jessica was worried about beginning her song as the start has no music and is “a big, powerful note”.

But she said: “There is no music at the start to lead me in and I had to walk onto the stage and stand in front of the coaches with their chairs turned and wait for about 15 seconds with no noise while waiting for the cue.

“But when I sing my nerves just fall away

“It’s like I transform into a different person.

“I opened my mouth and I was ok; I started moving and all my nerves disappeared.”

Although the Echo will have to wait until Saturday night’s show to find out how Jessica did, she is hopeful the show could kickstart her career.

She said: “I don’t want to be the same as everybody else; I want to be myself and do something different. It’s so exciting.”

The Voice Kids launches on ITV on Saturday at 7.45pm.