From education to employment

Former college student reaches the final of The Voice

A former Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) student, Melissa Antonesi recently reached the final of the Romanian version of reality TV singing competition, The Voice.

In 2017, Melissa moved to the UK to pursue her training in the Performing Arts industry, where she began with Level 3 Performing Arts (Acting) at BSDC: “My dream was to become a performer and I knew I had to go through all the foundational training first to work my way up to success, so when I was 17, I applied for the Acting course at Burton and South Derbyshire College.

“I appreciated the inclusivity of my course the most. Being a foreign student and not so confident at the time, the acceptive environment played a major role in my development, both academically and personally. I also enjoyed the creative opportunities and diverse performances we got to put on – it helped me discover myself as a performer.”

Melissa left BSDC after achieving her Level 3 qualification with a great determination to succeed in the Performing Arts industry. After further training and achieving a BA Hons in Musical Theatre at ICTheatre School in Manchester, Melissa knew she had to do something to get her talent noticed, so she applied for The Voice.

The premise of the show is that contestants audition to four judges who are gathering a set number of singers to join their team. Each week, the judges coach their singers to compete against each other as they perform for the public, who can then vote for their favourite contestant.

During the audition, the judges are sat in revolving chairs, facing away from the auditioning performer. If the judge wants the contestant to join their team, they press a big red button that spins them round to face the hopeful singer. Melissa managed to impress all four judges, who all hit their buttons to get Melissa in their team. With all four judges to choose from, Melissa had a hard choice ahead of her. She said: “I never even considered that I could turn all the chairs, so it caught me off guard and my choice of which judge to pick was in the heat of the moment!”

Melissa had a very successful run on season 11 of the show, successfully defeating the other 80 hopeful contestants across the four teams, to make it to the final, where she eventually placed 3rd overall.

Speaking about her time on the show, she said: “The Voice wasn’t something I had planned or even thought about before – it all happened so fast! With every step further I got in the competition, I started to believe in myself and just let myself enjoy every moment. My goal became less about winning and more about learning all I could from the professional team around me.”

Melissa is currently working as a professional singer, performing solo as well as with her own band, all around Romania. She is currently working on her first release of original songs, as well as auditioning for theatre and TV productions. 

“I am planning on never giving up on my dreams. I want to create music that I will share with the world. At the same time, I will also focus on my acting career, because I don’t want to limit myself to just one thing when I love so many other aspects of performing!”  

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