Belfast Telegraph

Devastated Jordan O'Keefe dedicates song to school friend

by MAUREEN COLEMAN

Britain's Got Talent finalist Jordan O'Keefe has told how his emotional performance at the weekend was dedicated to a school friend who passed away last week.

The Londonderry teenager was devastated when he heard the news that Kerry Crocker (19) had died during a surgical procedure at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The pair went to school together at Oakgrove Integrated College and Jordan described her as 'a lovely girl'. Ahead of the last BGT semi-final on Saturday, Jordan posted on Twitter that he was going to dedicate his performance of the Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston classic I Will Always Love You to his school friend.

His unique spin on the song won him a place in next week's grand final, along with shadow dancers Attraction, who topped the public vote.

Speaking last night Jordan told the Belfast Telegraph: "It was a very emotional night for me. For about half an hour before I was due to go on stage, I locked myself in my dressing room and tried hard not to cry.

"I had to call my vocal coach up to the room to talk to me. I didn't want to cry there and then, I wanted to save the emotion for my performance. But once I came off stage, I was able to let it all out."

The night was all the more emotional for Jordan as his father Paul was in the audience to hear him sing. In his initial audition for BGT, Jordan told the judges that he had signed up to study music at college but his father, an estate agent, had changed his course to business instead. The move had sparked tension between the pair but had been resolved when Mr O'Keefe realised how serious his son was about music.

"Having my dad there in the audience made it extra special for me," Jordan said. "When I came off stage, after my performance, I was able to go and see him. We just hugged each other and both of us cried."

The guitar-playing teen said he was determined to make the top three in next weekend's final.

"I don't think I'm going to win but that's not to say I'm going to take my foot off the pedal," he said.

"I'm going to go out there and give it my best shot. I really want to be in the top three. That's my goal now.

"I've made the final and that's what I wanted. And I'm so grateful to everyone who voted for me."

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