Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Jai McConnell makes the mother of all impressions on The Voice

Jai taking part in the blind audition for the BBC1 reality show, The Voice.

A Belfast mum has spoken of her joy after bagging herself a place on Team Kylie.

Jai McConnell (24) impressed all four coaches on BBC1 talent search The Voice with her "unique" vocals and star potential.

But it was an unusual pitch from pop star Kylie Minogue that helped seal the deal for hairdressing receptionist Jai.

After her blind audition performance of The Noisettes hit Never Forget You, Kylie offered her the contents of her designer handbag to entice her onto her team. As the other three mentors look on in amusement, Kylie pulled out perfume, sunglasses and an access-all-areas pass from her bag and waved them in front of Jai.

The Belfast woman said: "It was definitely a different pitch from Kylie. But to be honest, she was the one I really hoped would turn around for me.

"I think maybe it's because she's the only woman on the team, but I feel we could have a lot of girl talk.

"She's very easy to be around, just really warm and down-to-earth. When I picked her for my mentor I was so excited I just lifted her up off the ground. It wasn't planned or anything, I just got a bit carried away. It felt like the natural thing to do and she had a good laugh about it."

Jai's voice was described by Tom Jones as "really, really something", while Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson said he couldn't wait to hear her again.

Will.i.am, who mentored Newtownabbey girl Leah McFall last year, obviously picked up her Northern Irish lingo, telling Jai he loved her "wee earrings, wee boots and wee tattoos".

He told her: "Your voice is incredible, it's unique."

Jai said: "I've never had any proper training, so to get those type of comments was amazing."

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