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DWTS star Brooke Scullion talks about the ‘one decision’ that changed her life forever

The singer says everything turned on her decision to audition for a TV show, which she nearly didn’t do.

Brooke Scullion pictured in Turin for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Picture Andres Poveda© Andres Poveda / RTÉ

Roisin GormanSunday World

Singing sensation Brooke Scullion thought her career would end after Eurovision.

Instead the 23-year-old is limbering up for RTE’s Dancing with the Stars, has made her radio presenting debut and actually has a Radio Ulster show today, and plans to write new songs with Ireland’s biggest hitmaker.

Brooke, from Bellaghy in Co Derry, didn’t make it to the Eurovision final in May representing Ireland with original track That’s Rich but she says it’s still been one of the best years of her life.

She’d never sung professionally until two years ago when friends persuaded her to try out for The Voice, and she finished third after being mentored by Meghan Trainor.

“Intwo years, my life has become what I always wanted it to be,” says Brooke.

“I genuinely thought that Eurovision would be the end of my gallivanting and by now I’d be settled down with a stable job.

“It’s all so radical that I’m doing Dancing with the Stars and lots of BBC presenting and lots of singing over Christmas.

“I was in a café with my mum and sister recently and they were saying, ‘you’re 23, take a moment to appreciate what you have achieved’.”

The singer says everything turned on her decision to audition for The Voice, which she nearly didn’t do.

She was studying drama at Ulster University’s Magee campus and admits it was a tough time.

“I had no friends there and found it was a very vulnerable place for me.

"I was doing a straight drama degree with no singing involved. I hadn’t sung since school. I said to someone I’d love to try out for the choir, and I felt like that was a bit of a dream.

Brooke Scullion

“When The Voice auditions came to our uni my friend put me in for the audition and forced me to go to it.

“I didn’t want to waste their time or my time, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

“It’s weird looking back how your life can turn on one decision.”

After The Voice Brooke didn’t sing again for two years because of the pandemic restrictions.

But she wrote That’s Rich, and Chaotic Heart, an EP of songs including the haunting Tongues which she released earlier this year.

“For two years I didn’t open my mouth to sing for a single person. But I went and wrote my own material,” says Brooke.

“There was no way of releasing material and I had no repertoire, but I’d had that help on The Voice from Meghan Trainor and the vocal coaches and I decided to use that to my advantage.”

In April, Brooke had to work up the confidence to perform on The Late Late Show as a Eurovision candidate and won her place in the iconic music competition, where she ended up being mates with Rylan and host Mika, who was her biggest fan.

Brooke Scullion pictured in Turin for the Eurovision Song Contest 2022. Picture Andres Poveda© Andres Poveda / RTÉ

“Mika told me my song was his favourite, and I told him I only had two singers on my iPod, Britney Spears and Mika.”

The singer was delighted to make her Radio Ulster presenting debut on Across the Line in the autumn, as well as standing in for Vinny Hurrell over Christmas and getting her own show, which airs this afternoon.

Brooke asked Leah O’Rourke, who plays Jenny Joyce in Derry Girls, to join her, as well as her favourite songwriter, Dublin’s RuthAnne Cunningham.

“It was kind of scary, but I got to get some really cool guests,” she says.

“I’ve got Tia Kofi from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Leah O’Rourke because we’re doing Dancing with the Stars together, and RuthAnne, who’s written songs for Britney Spears, Diana Ross and Niall Horan.

“We are now in talks to write a song together – that’s how these things happen.

“RuthAnne was at a gig I was doing at The Helix in Dublin, but I was starstruck. I wanted another opportunity to meet her and I knew it would come,” says Brooke.

She will be on RTE early next year in the final series of its iconic Dancing with the Stars and says it’s been a lesson in heels.

“People are telling me I can dance but can’t, and this is not anything you can prepare for.

“It’s nearly harder mentally than physically because of the pressure you put yourself under.

“You’re learning more than once dance at a time and I’m not the best in heels.

“But I love trying to be good at everything I do, and I’ve always wanted to be able to say yes to everything. I love being busy,” says Brooke.

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