Born a mute, her mother died during the delivery of Erica and her twin brother Graham. Her father was driven to alcohol dependency under the stress of caring for the two children alone, and eventually took his own life when the twins were 5. Shunted from children’s home to children’s home, Erica could always rely on the support and voice of her brother, until he died two years later in a tragic landfill accident. Erica’s grandmother emigrated to the UK from Australia to care for her, moving to Harold to provide the warmth of a family she so badly needed. Sadly her grandmother passed away last August.
In the face of all this, brave Erica entered Harold’s search for a star, and against all odds won the competition in sensational style. Last night’s talent show was held at the town hall, where the 3 judges, Mayor Rufus D Jackson (worked with everyone in the Blaxploitation genre) Nina O’Neil (loudmouth) and a tramp in bin clothes were seated with their backs to the stage in office swivel chairs. All three poised to turn when they heard a voice that made the hair on their arms (or alternative body parts) stand up.
Erica nervously took to the stage, the last competitor of the night, and despite her lack of stage presence almost immediately all 3 judges swung around “I want you” they declared, it was as if they somehow already knew of the poor childs incredible journey to be on that stage.
But now her heartbreaking circumstances have seen TV producers from BBC’s ‘The Voice’ and ITV’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ battling it out to land her on their programme. Her asthma, eczema, lack of confidence and appalling taste in clothes all seem to add to her appeal. Last week Erica took the brave decision to have her best friend and long time companion Fluffy the dog put down although he was in rude health, and this sealed the deal as far as the TV execs were concerned.
In a controversial move both stations have agreed to fast track Erica straight past the auditions to the live finals. The expected sea of tears will be collected in a pool into which Tom Daley will teach Erica to dive.