Ex-chart star Cleo Higgins wows Voice panel

The former frontwoman of 90s chart stars Cleopatra created a huge impression on The Voice on Saturday night, leading the coaches to turn their chairs around in seconds.

Cleo Higgins – whose band were best known for such hits as Cleopatra’s Theme and Life Ain’t Easy – wowed the panel with her rendition of Beyonce’s Love On Top as the auditions reached their third week.

And in doing so she won herself a place on will.i.am’s team – although not before a fierce bidding war had erupted between the judges, with Jessie J admitting she was ‘blown away’ by Cleo’s performance and Tom Jones praising her for her ‘confident style’.

Afterwards Jessie appeared crestfallen as yet another female contestant rejected the chance to join her team – admitting she was ‘gutted’.

“I feel like people don’t believe in me this year,” she said, “When the coaches don’t get someone that we believe in, it’s a knock.”

There was some good news for Jessie later on, however, when singing waitress Lovelle became the second female performer to join her team.

The 22-year-old, who performed Rihanna’s Diamonds, had had her pick of the judges with will and Tom all vying for her – but left Jessie delighted with her decision.

Others who took to the stage on Saturday night included Mitchell Emms – who previously appeared as Kurt Cobain on Stars In Their Eyes – who won a place on Danny O’Donoghue’s team, female duo Diva, who joined team Tom Jones, and former X Factor hopeful Lemuel Knights.

The latter impressed Jessie so much with her version of her first hit Do It Like A Dude that she eventually got up on stage and performed with him, before he opted to join her team.

However it wasn’t such good news for Barry James Thomas, the uncle of Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas.

The 49-year-old – who was accompanied to the audition by his famous nephew – failed to impress the judges with his version of the rock classic The Boys Are Back In Town – with Jessie calling the performance ‘too obvious’.

This week’s show was screened at the same time as Britain’s Got Talent, following the decision by ITV to move the show to an earlier timeslot this year.

However from next weekend The Voice will begin at 8.20pm, avoiding a similar clash in schedules.