The Talent Show

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speaking practice, talent showWelcome to our free open resource the talent show to give you practice so you feel confident when the B2 First exam day arrives. Our lessons are centred around different themes. These themes are featured in the reading, writing, use of English speaking and listening parts of the exam.

The Talent Show

Exercise 1TranscriptWord List

You will hear a talk given by a young man called Ed Lockwood, who took part in a musical talent show. Listen to the talk and complete the details below.

Hello. I’m going to tell you about a talent show I entered last summer. I’m sure you’ve seen these competitions on TV featuring young musicians from all over the country. The competition I took part in was just for bands in my local area, so my friends and I believed we had more of a chance than if it was open to people from a wider region, or to bands based in a big city like London.

Each band had to sing two songs and both had to be original – their own songs and not just their versions of well-known songs. There was a panel of six judges, including a professional singer. The main judge whose opinions really mattered was a record producer. I remember another judge was a music teacher, and there was a famous dancer too.

Everyone desperately wanted to win of course. Often in competitions like this the successful bands get recording contracts. It’s what every musician wants. However, the organisers decided to reward the band that came out on top with cash. One of the competitors said the winners should get new guitars, which would’ve been quite nice, but that didn’t happen!

The competition attracted a lot of interest so they needed somewhere with enough space. We’re lucky that a concert hall has just been built in our town so that was the obvious place. I think performing in a sports stadium would’ve been cool too. Maybe some other time! And the old theatre which has been used for similar events before was closed for repairs so was unavailable.

When we first got together as a band, my friends and I preferred to do classic pop songs. Gradually we felt much more comfortable doing rock music, and that’s what we chose for the talent show after long discussion. One or two of the band members fancied having a go at heavy metal but I thought that wouldn’t work for us.

The next challenge was writing a song. At first, I wanted a happy song about a party, but everyone else rejected the idea. I tried writing something about a great holiday I’d had a couple of years ago. I didn’t get very far with that either. In the end, I came up with something about world peace. It has a nice message so I think it was a good choice.

When the big day came, some of the band members were a bit nervous. We’d never performed in front of such a big audience before. The lighting seemed too bright in the rehearsal so we got that fixed and I knew it would be fine on the night. But even as I stepped on the stage, I kept thinking about the sound equipment. Fortunately, everything went smoothly.

We didn’t win, though the judges said nice things about our performance and even gave us some advice. But what the competition did for us was boost our confidence hugely. We really needed that. I hoped I’d get some good ideas too. You know, inspiration for new songs. But that came a few months later. Anyway, the whole thing was great!

Here are the keywords and phrases covered in this activity

  • big audience
  • confidence
  • competitions
  • desperately
  • discussion
  • inspiration
  • musicians
  • performance
  • rehearsal
  • sports stadium
  • talent show
  • unavailable
  • well-known songs
  • world peace
We add listening and speaking exercises in order to practise for this part of the B2 First Exam.

In this part you talk to the examiner about yourself and your life, e.g. your name, school, interests and future plans.

In this part, you talk about two photos on your own which you have to compare for about 1 minute. After you have finished, your partner will be asked a short question about your photo. When your partner has spoken about their photos for about 1 minute, you will be asked a question about their photos.

In this part you express ideas with your partner by looking at a discussion point that the examiner gives you.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you focus on general aspects of a topic with the examiner or you may involve your partner.

This will be available soon.

In this part, you will hear people talking in eight different situations.

In this part, you will hear five people talking about different things.

In this part, you will hear an interview.

The more words you encounter and understand, the broader your day-to-day vocabulary will become. Our word games and puzzles are an excellent way to help to reinforce spellings in your mind.
We add reading and writing exercises on a regular basis. Why not bookmark our site, so you can come back to practice anywhere or at any time of the day?

For this part, you practice vocabulary word-building by changing different words using a base word.

For this part, you practice how to understand the details of a text, including opinions and attitudes.

For this part, you practice how to understand the structure and follow the development of a text.

For this part, you practice how to find specific information in a text or texts.

Especially helpful are exercises that are focussed on a theme or topic as these provide word retention practice so you can be confident to read, write, speak and listen successfully.

Cambridge English Examinations:

Cambridge English exams are designed for learners at all levels from the pre-intermediate level Cambridge English: Key (KET) to the very advanced level Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE). These exams give candidates proof of their ability to use English in a wide variety of contexts, relevant to work, study and leisure activities.

A2 Key | B1 Preliminary | B2 First