The Genfactor is the city’s renowned talent contest organised annually by Gentoo. The competition is an opportunity for young people living in Sunderland to showcase their talents, build confidence and grow. 

The amount of talent that has come out of the Genfactor since its launch has been incredible, with many homegrown artists supporting the contestants along the way. 

The Genfactor is into its 10th year and this year’s celebration was bigger and better than ever.

We had 14 finalists all hoping to take the top spot. The talent ranged from musical theatre to dance troops, from country music to power ballads, there was something for everyone.

The grand event took place on 24 April 2019 at Rainton Meadows Arena, Houghton-le-Spring.


Previous winners and finalists have gone on to do great things:

Josh Gregg went on to win a Young Achievers Award and has now joined a band.

2011 winner Alex Forth has just won a place at London’s prestigious Bird College.

2012 winner Lauren Waine has been accepted into Paul McCartney’s Institute of Performing Arts in Liverpool and has been doing pantomimes at the Tyne Theatre.

2013 winners Nu JAM Cru took part in ‘Pulse’ events and were chosen as one of only two dance acts to represent the North East at national level in the U Dance 2014 celebration.

2016 runner-up singer and guitarist Tom ‘Mouse’ Smith, has since received a Sunderland Young Achievers’ Award for Music and Performing Arts.

2017 winner Tahnee Kelly recently won a highly commended award for performing arts at the Sunderland Young Achievers' Awards.

2017 finalist Jessica Dale went on to audition for The Voice Kids UK.

2019 Riona Sorianosos has performed at a number of high profile events including the Young Achievers Awards and the Northern Housing Consortium Christmas Lunch.