A schoolgirl from Bushey is even closer to achieving her dreams of stardom, after winning the regional final of a singing competition.

Mackenzie Kavanagh, of Merry Hill Road, took to the stage of Watford club Highlight on Sunday, October 28, competing against 25 acts in the regional finals of Open Mic UK 2012.

Wowing an audience of more than 600 people and a panel of industry judges by performing her own original material, she was selected to go through to the area finals of the competition, and is now just one step away from the Grand Final at the 02, in the under-16s category.

She also won Open Mic’s "Extreme Exposure Award", with a prize of £500-worth of recording time at Mike Oldfield's studios in Buckinghamshire.

The 13-year-old said: "It was really exciting, I loved it, I didn’t feel as nervous as last time, when I was performing to be chosen for the regional final. "I’m not confident I’m going to win, but you never know, I think I was the youngest of the seven acts to go through to the next round."

Mackenzie will now try to beat 25 acts from several different areas across the country when she performs in the area final at the Beck Theatre in Hayes, on November 18.

The Purcell Music School student said: "Although I performed my own material in the other heats, at the next stage I’m going to perform a cover, Pixie Lott’s "Mamma Do", but it’s going to be different.

"Instead of having a top beat, I’m going to have just piano, and make it a lot darker."

As well as reaching the area final of the Open Mic competition, Mackenzie has also discovered she has been successful in the Hertfordshire songwriting contest, winning the overall intermediate acoustic category.

As a result, she will be able to take part in a gig at The Forum in Hatfield on December 16, and is set to be given a prize.

Mackenzie said: "I’ve been very busy trying to pursue my dreams, perhaps next year I’ll be gigging, and with an album of my own material in the shops - that’s what I really want.

"Everyone is really proud of how well I’ve done so far, my parents, friends, family, and school too.

"I’m reaching for the stars."

For tickets for the Open Mic contest on November 18, visit: openmicuk.co.uk To listen to Mackenzie’s music visit: mackenzie-music.co.uk