SINGING sensation Danielle Hope is one step closer to walking the yellow brick road after making it through to the semi-final of a TV talent show.

The Knutsford High School student is now competing against just three girls for the coveted role of Dorothy in a new West End production of The Wizard of Oz in the BBC1 show Over the Rainbow.

Danielle’s performance of the Les Miserables hit, On My Own, on Saturday night was well received by the judges and the public, and the teen easily avoided being knocked out of the competition on Saturday.

Helen Mayne, head of drama at Knutsford High School, has been following the 18-year-old’s progress.

She said: “I was really proud of Danielle on Saturday. I think she has an excellent chance.

“I really do believe she is the best of the four remaining girls to be Dorothy.

“It would mean everything for her to win – it’s been her dream since she started in year seven. She’s the most talented girl that I’ve ever taught.”

But the Knutsford High School student still has a challenge ahead of her as she was less popular with the public on Sunday.

Danielle found herself in the sing-off with Jessica after the pair received the fewest public votes.

The pair sang Take That Look Off Your Face from Tell Me On A Sunday in a bid to stay in the contest and Danielle was saved by Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber, who said both girls were ‘really terrific’, but he had to think of the role of Dorothy when deciding who to choose.

Lord Lloyd-Webber was slightly critical of Danielle after her performance on Saturday and said she needed to learn how to disguise the break in her voice.

Welsh star Charlotte Church was also critical.

She told Danielle that she had really enjoyed the very ‘emotive performance’ but said although her mid-register notes were ‘gorgeous’, her top notes could get ‘a little bit shouty’.

Sheila Hancock agreed with Charlotte that it hadn’t been one of Danielle’s best performances but she was full of praise for the teenager and compared her to the Hollywood actress, Catherine Zeta Jones as she said they both had a similar ‘star quality’.

“I thought today perhaps you were less good than you have been, but as you are normally absolutely fabulous, it was still very very very good,” she said.

Helen added: “Danielle takes every criticism really seriously but she doesn’t need to because she’s her own worst critic and best critic.

“She takes it all on board. The judges have been very fair – the criticisms have been aimed at helping.”

Eastenders actor John Partridge said: “Danielle, you have real grace and sensibility that I think would be wonderful for Dorothy.

“The energy just flows from you off the stage and into the auditorium and that’s what being a great performer is all about.

“You are a better actress than you are a singer, but what you lack in vocal range, you make up for in storytelling.”