Prior to her audition, the 30-year-old dog walker and animal lover from Essex said, ‘If no one turns around, at least I’ll still have my animals.’ But as it turned out she needn’t have worried. With her version of the Pitbull song Timber, she not only proved that she was a great singer but that she could rap, too.
The night kicked off with Tim Arnold, 39, from London, who’s the son of former Eldorado and EastEnders star Polly Perkins, and a close friend of June Brown, AKA Dot Branning. Although it wasn’t mentioned on the show he’s also the boyfriend of EastEnders star Jessie Wallace but the actress, who plays Kat Moon in the soap had no idea that he was putting himself up for The Voice.
Tim was so frightened of getting knocked back that he didn’t tell any of his loved ones what he was up to. Tim performed a great version of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill. By the time he got to the very end of the song none of the judges had turned around, but at the very last minute Ricky pushed his button!
Next up was 24-year-old singer Kim Alvord from Manchester, who earlier in her career had missed out on joining The Saturdays and S Club Juniors. She sang Paolo Nuttin’s Scream (Funk Up My Life), and like Tim, it looked like she was out of the competition until last-minute-merchant Tom hit his red button.
Dawn Allen, or Dawn With The Horn, as she likes to call herself, began her audition by demonstrating her trumpeting skills before belting out the lyrics to Wish I Didn’t Miss You by Angie Stone. Dawn was forlorn, however, when none of the coaches turned around. Tom said the 48-year-old sounded ‘good enough and strong enough’ to both play and sing, but wasn’t sure how he could mentor her. Meanwhile, although Will didn’t turn around he said he hated it when they have to say goodbye to contestants who can clearly sing.
Ross Harris from the West Midlands was the second contestant of the night to come on stage with an instrument – a set of drums! Usually, he’s seen in the background playing for the likes of Union J and The Saturdays, so this was his big chance on centre stage. Unfortunately, his performance of Usher’s Good Kisser failed to win over the judges.
Ally and Callum call themselves The Mac Bros but aren’t really brothers. In fact, they joined forces after meeting on the music scene in Liverpool. They surprised everyone by performing not one song, but a mash-up of three – Bohemian Rhapsody/Johnny B Good/Oh My God by Queen, Chuck Berry and the Kaiser Chiefs respectively. Rita was the only coach to hit her their button and she did so almost straight away…
Hollie was up next and chose Willi.i.am as her coach, and was followed by Ciaran O’Driscoll from Derry, Northern Ireland. The 25 year old has always loved singing and even saved his lunch money for singing lessons. He opened his version of Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics in operatic version, but then proceeded to hit every other note going, from low to high. Unfortunately, his up and down approach seemed to confuse the judges and no one swivelled.
Next up was student Morven Brown, 17, from Glasgow. Rita turned almost immediately as she heard the singer’s rendition of Afterglow by drum & bass producer Wilkinson.
A-level student Oli Bond from Kent was next to try his luck with a performance of All Along The Watchtower. His gravelly vocals belied his 17 years, but failed to get any turns from the judges. He did, however, get some helpful advice from Will, while Tom, who – quelle surprise – once worked with Hendrix, said there was too much rasp to Oli’s voice, but softened the blow by admitting that he liked what he heard.
At 16, Rosa Iamele was the youngest performer of the evening and her version of Disclosure by White Noise managed to get Tom and Ricky to hit their buttons. Sir Tom thought he might be listening to two people so he got a surprise when he turned around. Making his pitch, Sir Tom said her voice had sounded ‘real, warm and refreshing’ and it was enough to make Rosa decide to join his team.
When 53-year-old Sharon Murphy from Ireland sang a moving version of Bob Dylan’s Forever Young, Ricky found himself competing against Tom once again when the two coaches turned around. Unfortunately for the Kaiser Chiefs frontman, he lost out again when Sharon chose to join Sir Tom’s team.
Identical twins Sophia and Shereen – otherwise known as DTwinz – livened things up again with a funky version of Diana King’s Shy Guy which had Rita, Tom and Will turning around in their chairs, but the girls decided to go with the female coach.
Cai Williams, 39, from south Wales performed the James Bond theme Licence To Kill, but his over-dramatic rendition didn’t seem to be winning over any of the coaches until Tom, cutting it fine again, turned around for his fellow countryman.
When a contestant sings a show tune, it never seems to go down well with the coaches and so it proved when Stephen Bloor, 44, who sang Bring Him Home from Les Miserables. The church caretaker from Crawley, West Sussex, gave a powerful performance, but failed to get any turns from the coaches. Sir Tom advised Stephen that his voice belonged on the stage in London’s West End.
The last performance of the evening was from 17-year-old Olivia Lawson from Sunderland who performed a slowed-down version of Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Rita turned first and was quickly followed by Ricky and Will, but the sixth form student opted to go with Rita.
The Voice continues on BBC One on Saturday.