Stoke-on-Trent teen in Britain's Got Talent semi-final after 'flawless' routine

From being spotted at a carnival in Longton to being branded 'flawless' by Alesha Dixon - teenager cheerleader Evangeline Rose Lymer now has the eyes of the nation on her. The 16-year-old of Lightwood will head into the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent tonight with her cheerleading squad, Lady Grenade hoping to go one step further.

The Coventry-based cheerleading squad, a group of 24 girls, who are all under 18, had auditioned for the popular ITV show in Manchester back in January this year. It was while competing in America the group received a message to say they’d made it through to the next stage.

The Lady Grenades had performed a two minute 'flawless' performance according to judge Alesha Dixon, and managed to bag themselves a place at the semi-finals. It marks a tremendous journey for Evangeline, who previously performed with a group in Meir.

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The Midlands squad has been in London over the Bank Holiday weekend to go through dress rehearsals ahead of their big day on Tuesday. Prior to being selected to join the Lady Grenades last year, Evangeline, a student at Cheadle's Painsley Sixth Form College had been scouted five years ago to cheerlead, and joined the Momentum team in Meir.

Proud dad Stuart Lymer has been supportive of his daughter’s dreams since the very beginning. He said: “They’re buzzing about it.

"It’s been manic - they’re really excited and they're ready to perform. Their routine is ready, and they get four-and-a-half minutes to perform this time, but they were only given two minutes during their audition so they had to shorten their routine.

“The girls train for four hours every Tuesday and Saturday. They all show a lot of commitment to cheerleading. We take Evangeline from the Potteries, but there are some girls who travel from Nottingham and even London. I must admit, I didn’t realise how busy the sport is and how much commitment there is to it."

The cheerleading 'season' will start in the August and September time - with competitions underway in January. Aside from the small matter of Britain's Got Talent, Lady Grenades have two more competitions still to go - one in Liverpool at the end of June and one in Bournemouth at the end of July. Each competition lasts for three or four days.

Stuart says there is far more to cheerleading than people may realise. He told StokeonTrentLive: “The Lady Grenades were on the One Show talking about the sport on the same week as BGT aired.

"It’s becoming more of a popular sport, and the One Show wanted to raise awareness about cheerleading. It’s more like dancing, it’s not waving pom poms around like people think. Hopefully one day it will be an Olympic sport."

For Evangeline her talents were recognised while she was performing at a carnival in Longton. Stuart said: "Evangeline is a flyer and gets thrown in the air. She does gymnastics too, but she loves the team spirit aspect of cheerleading.

"She started cheerleading at Momentum in Meir five years ago after being scouted at Longton Carnival where she was spotted doing backflips. The team represented England twice in 2022 and in 2023.

“Evangeline wanted to take her cheerleading further, and had a three-day trial for Coventry Dynamites - she wasn’t sure which team she’d be selected for - and was selected for Lady Grenades which is one of her dream teams. They competed at the cheerleading world championships in Florida recently.

“After their audition for BGT, Evangeline told me excitedly that she got a cuddle and congratulations from Ant. Since then, people recognise her and people have been saying at school ‘Isn’t it funny that we’re watching you on the TV’.”

Britain's Got Talent will air on ITV tonight from 8pm.

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