THERE'S no shortage of talent in the 2012 Riverside Plaza Star Search with singers, dancers and musicians battling out for the title.
More than 50 acts will grace the stage next week for a chance to perform in the grand final and share in a prize pool of more than $2000.
Riverside Plaza marketing manager Heidi Flaherty said it is a great opportunity for the young performers to showcase their talent.
"The audience can expect a varied group of entertainers, we have a real mix with a mix of style as well," she said. "So there's something for everyone.
"One of the performers is 11-year-old singer songwriter Jack Hermans who is performing his own original song.
"It's called 'Love Lost' and I wrote it earlier this year," he said.
"It's about being in love with a girl and losing her to another boy. There are elements of truth in the song."
Jack has been playing guitar for about two and half years and writing songs for some time. He said he usually writes songs about girls, love and romance.
"Songwriting is basically a way of being creative and with performing, I just like the feel of it, it's a unique and original feeling."
Jack is familiar with public performances as he often busks around Canberra and Queanbeyan. He said any money he collects is put towards purchasing an ipad.
"I love performing and it's a great way for people to see me on stage and like me," he said.
"I just want everyone to know my name and be able to perform."
Another performer showcasing original material is seven-year-old Jackson Barclay from Bungendore who has created his own jazz dance routine to Katy Perry's Firework.
"I really like Katy Perry and mum said 'yep that song would be ok for you to dance to'," he said.
Jackson takes two dance classes a week in jazz and tap and said his preparation consisted of practicing five minutes a day for the past fortnight.
"I've practiced my routine a lot, it's changed every time," he said.
"In the auditions the judges said if I forget something to just smile and make up the next step."
This is the first year Jackson has entered Star Search and the primary school student is looking forward to it.
"I thought 'well, this is kind of a dancing competition and I really like dancing so I should enter it'," he said.
Jackson's mum, Michelle couldn't be happier for her little jumping Jackson.
"Jackson was born to entertain, he loves it out there on the stage, we just want him to follow his dreams," she said.
Contestants will be scored on stage presence, appearance, technical ability and audience appeal.This year's judging panel includes The Q program manager Stephen Pike, Impressions Dance and Fitness's Nikki Knieriem and The Voice contestant Anthony Dellamarta.
* The Riverside Plaza Star Search heats will be held in the food court from 11am on Tuesday, October 2, Wednesday, October 3 and Thursday, October 4. The final will be held Saturday October 6 and will include special guests and former Australia's Got Talent contestants, Phuzion.