As The Voice UK goes live this weekend, finalist Sheena McHugh opens up about the car crash that almost ended her dreams of becoming a singer…
Congratulations on getting through to the live shows of The Voice. How are you feeling?
“I’m a bit in the clouds at the minute, to be honest. It doesn’t feel real, it feels like it’s happening to somebody else and I’m just wanting it on the telly. It’s really strange.”
You revealed on The Voice how a car accident in 2010 nearly ended your singing career. You were left in a pretty bad way, weren’t you?
“Yeah, it wasn’t good. I had a broken back, ruptured spleen and torn intestines – doctors told my mum it would be touch and go as to whether I made it through the night or not.”
We know that, following the accident, you lost your singing voice after undergoing some invasive surgeries. How did that make you feel?
“That was really hard. The idea that I might not be able to sing again was more scary for me than the thought I may have ended up in a wheelchair. I know that sounds really silly, but I thought at least I could still sing in a wheelchair.”
Did your love of music help with your recovery?
“Music’s always been my therapy. It probably pushed me to get better quicker than I would have done had I not had that drive to get back out on stage.”
How did you feel when all four coaches on The Voice turned their chairs for you at the Blind Auditions?
“It didn’t feel real. I’m quite insecure, so I didn’t think even one of them would turn to be honest, so when all four did I was in disbelief!”
You chose to go on Team Will. What’s he been like as a mentor?
“Will’s just brilliant, he really inspires me. He doesn’t just do the ‘obvious’ thing, so he’s been encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and try things I maybe wouldn’t have tried.”
Are you anxious about performing live for the first time on Saturday night?
“It is daunting, but I’m so excited. It’s always been a goal for me to sing on live telly – it’s been on my bucket list for a while, so I’ll finally be able to cross that off!”
And how are you feeling about facing the public vote?
“Really scared but really excited as well. For me, it’s the public that really matters because they’re the people who are going to buy my music when The Voice is over.”
What do you hope to achieve from being on The Voice?
“I want singing to be my career for the rest of my life. I want to make albums, do tours and hear my voice on the radio. I’ve never really had a back-up plan; this is what I’ve always wants to do, I’m not cut out for anything else.”
Has your accident made you more determined to succeed?
“The accident definitely changed my outlook on life and changed me as a person. It’s almost like I had an epiphany after the crash – it gave me the focus to follow my dream.”
The Voice UK live shows start on Saturday, March 21 at 7.15pm on BBC1.