She’s the winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 and one of the most recognisable faces (and voices) on the sunny island of Malta.
And on Saturday evening Destiny Chukunyere took her talents north to the United Kingdom where she wowed judges with her cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Think”.
Accompanied by her grandmother, the 14-year-old star was uncharacteristically nervous during her pre-performance voiceover and when she took the stage to chat with the judges, led by Simon Cowell.
But all that changed the moment she started to sing.
Destiny’s audition on Britain’s Got Talent
“My dream is to win,” she said in her voiceover as she strutted onto stage. “Who knows? It might change my life.”
After Destiny introduced herself, Simon asked her how she ended up singing in London.
“I won Junior Eurovision 2015,” she said, her voice quivering.
“I didn’t know there was one,” he said.
When judge Alesha Dixon asked her if she was confident, Destiny spoke from the heart.
“For now no. But when I start singing I’m a different person.”
And she proved the point with a spot-on cover of Aretha Franklin’s “Think” — serving the sass, attitude and on-point vocals that Junior Eurovision fans have come to expect from her.
The audience, totally enraptured by her performance, gave her a standing ovation along with the judges.
“For me that was knockout,” Alesha said. “That is one of the hardest songs to sing and you are 14 and killed it. Brilliant audition.”
Judge David Walliams — perhaps best known for his comedy series Little Britain — had a series of questions: “What happened to the shy 14 year old girl from Malta? Where did she go?”
“You are clearly born to sing. Thank you for coming along today to our little show.”
Judge Amanda Holden was as effusive, praising Destiny’s demeanour, which contrasted so sharply with her power vocals.
“Aside from the fact that you’ve got the most incredible voice, you’re just such a cute, sweet girl,” she said. “Incredible audition, well done.”
And finally Simon — easily one of the most difficult men to please in all of reality TV — issued his verdict.
“Destiny. I’ve been waiting for someone to come out who we think could be a star and guess who it is? You. You have soul.”
Afterwards a visibly touched Destiny shared a brief word with hosts Ant & Dec.
“It felt awesome,” she said. “I want to go again.”
Destiny at Junior Eurovision 2015
Destiny is no stranger to our readers, who first fell in love with the soulful singer back in 2015, when she represented Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria.
Her song “Not My Soul” matched her voice perfectly, letting her show off her power, control and rhythm. As we wrote at the time:
Young Destiny serves Aretha Franklin realness from the very first note. The song is well-paced, builds from verse to verse, and gives Destiny plenty of space to fill it with her enormous vocals and range. It hints at black spirituals from the American South and funky jives straight outta Motown. Yet this remains accessible to kids. They can’t take Destiny’s soul, and honey, they can’t take her voice either! My favourite song of the year.
Destiny may sing as well as the divas she admires — including Beyoncé and Aretha — but she’s most definitely not a demanding diva who throws her cell phone at lackeys.
The young star has kept her feet on the ground, despite being one of the most in-demand talents on the island.
At Junior Eurovision 2016 in Valletta, she kindly took time out of her busy schedule to perform at The Wiwi Jam — our concert and party at the Hard Rock Café.
She reprised her winning song “Not My Soul” and also sang “Embrace” — the official anthem of Junior Eurovision 2016.
About a fifth of all wiwibloggers live in the UK, and you better believe that we’ll be voting up a storm to support young Destiny in the weeks ahead. We hope all of you in Britain will too.