Andrea Begley has been crowned champion of The Voice 2013, scoring a surprise victory over hot favourite Leah McFall.
The 27-year-old visually impaired singer had been one of the bookies’ outsiders to take the title on Saturday night’s final, with fellow Irish singer Leah expected to triumph.
However she fought off competition from her fellow performers following a trio of impressive performances including a reprisal of her audition song – Sarah McLachlan’s Angel – which left the judges spellbound.
Leah was one of the runners-up along with country singer Mike Ward, although their finishing positions were not immediately revealed.
Earlier in the evening Matt Henry finished in fourth place for Jessie J’s team.
The singer appeared shocked as she was named winner, saying afterwards: “I could never ever have imagined this.”
“I have to thank everybody at home for voting for me,” Andrea added, “and I will try my best to put my win to good use and be a success, thank you so much.”
Andrea’s victory also marks the first win on the series for Team Danny O’Donoghue, who teamed up with the singer during the final for a special performance of The Script hit Hall Of Fame.
The other finalists performed duets with their coaches during Saturday’s show as well as reprising their favourite song from the series, and each performing a song they had not yet sung on the show.
As a result of her Voice win Andrea has now secured herself a record contract with Universal.
She appeared shocked as she was announced the winner – while viewers noted the equally stunned expression of her mother who was watching in the audience.
However the result did not prove immediately popular with Twitter users, many of whom took to the social networking site to voice their dismay that Leah had not won.
“Love Andrea but @leahmcfallmusic is a megastar, I will be buying your album Leah,’ tweeted one user, while another commented:Man, I am going to rush out to buy Andrea’s album” – Said nobody.”
The judges, on the other hand, appeared more impressed, especially with her performance of Angel towards the end of the show.
Danny told her: “That was the best I have heard you sound,” while Jessie J described her voice as “amazing – so good and so unique.”