Andrea Begley Wins UK The Voice

Andrea Begley Wins UK The Voice
Andrea Begley, the partially-sighted 27 year-old from Pomeroy, County Tyrone wins the United Kingdom version of The Voice and now has a “lucrative” recording contract.

Immediately after the result was announced, Begley said she “never, ever, ever could have imagined” winning the contest, adding, “I have to thank everyone at home for voting for me.” She went on to tell her supporters that, “I will try my best to put your vote to good use”. Her mentor, Danny O’Donoghue, described her as “an inspiration”.

Begley had chosen to sing My Immortal by Evanescence, before joining O’Donoghue’s band The Script to perform Hall Of Fame, and then singing Angel by Sarah McLachlan in the final round. Her mentor, the Irish singer/songwriter O’Donoghue told the audience how proud he was of her.

He then told Andrea that, “It just proves that a great, great singer with a great song, you can knock down walls, you can smash down anything they put in front of you.” He then added, “You’re an inspiration to me. I’ve learned more from you than you have from me.”

Finalist Leah McFall had been the oddsmakers’ choice to win, but the singer didn’t get enough votes with her versions of Loving You and and I Will Always Love You. But McFall received high praise from the four coaches on her performance of Minnie Riperton’s Lovin’ You, which is known for its stretch into the top end of the vocal range.

Sir Tom Jones said, “It’s amazing. Her control is fantastic, the whole thing, all the way through it was really, really great.”

The 23 year-old McFall’s mentor Will.i.am was stunned and surprised that his singer didn’t win. He got onto his Twitter account to tweet, “Andrea is amazing…#dontGETmeWRONG…but we know who has the incredible #voice,”

While McFall’s mentor was clearly unhappy that his gal didn’t win, he said that to him it was “unexplainable.” He also said that he was “so sad” and “perplexed.” But his tweet, which finished with a note of praise for McFall, did start out with praise for Andrea Begley.

On Saturday, each finalist performed two songs live on BBC one, and out of the two songs, one was a duet with their coach. Despite the odds being in favour of McFall, Andrea Begley was the clear winner in the UK version of The Voice as her performances wowed the viewers who voted at home.

Birmingham singer Matt Henry finished the night with the lowest number of votes and the 34 year-old singer was the first to leave the final. This was despite a very spirited duet rendition of the Luther Vandross song, Never Too Much with his mentor Jessie J. He’d also performed a very elaborately choreographed solo performance of David Gray’s Babylon.

After Henry’s departure the remaining three finalist’s, Begley, Belfast’s McFall and Mike Ward, from Salford, performed their favourite song from this series.

Mike Ward gushed that the opportunity to perform with his coach, Sir Tom Jones, was “incredible.” Ward said, “He’s one of the reasons I got into country music”. Unfortunately his version of the Keith Whitely song, Don’t Close Your Eyes, got panned by Will.i.am, who said, “I thought there were some parts that were flat.”

Throughout the program’s finale, there were cameo performances from Robbie Williams, Dizzee Rascal and Michael Bublé. But by the end of the evening, the winning number of votes went to Andrea Begley who officially wins the United Kingdom’s The Voice competition.

By Michael Smith

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