Performing runs in the genes of the 17-year-old from Tranent, who said tips from grandfather Bobby Colgan – a well-respected singer, comedian and MC in East Lothian – had helped her reach the competition’s top ten.
Bobby will be sitting in the audience at the Festival Theatre on October 26 as his granddaughter attempts to win the £1000 cash prize and a performance at the Radio Forth Awards.
“He’s been entertaining people for most of his life and he’s passed on that experience to me,” Derryn said. “I learn a lot from my papa. He’s told me just to enjoy myself, use the stage as if it’s yours, move about and entertain people, just love what you’re doing. I felt like I had confidence issues before. I wasn’t so keen on moving about the stage, but I tried it one day at a talent show and I enjoyed it.”
The teenager has chosen the Grammy Award-winning track Dance With My Father for the EGT final. She described her musical strength as ballads and predicted the single by Luther Vandross would be a genuine crowd-pleaser, having already received a “great reaction” to a rendition at a recent charity day.
Derryn is no stranger to public performances, having previously sung for organisations such as the Children’s Hospice Association Scotland.
“Making people happy to get them away from that side of things, it really is just a privilege to do, to sing for charity,” she said. “I like to do it.”
Derryn is in her final year of high school and said she hoped her final appearance would help launch a performance career.
• Find out all about fellow finalist Ellen Brown in tomorrow’s Evening News.