Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

The moment Derry schoolgirl Rachael O'Connor left The Voice coach Kylie Minogue in a spin

Rachael O'Connor taking part in the blind audition for the BBC1 reality show, The Voice.

Rachael O'Connor is just 16 – but has already caught the eye of pop princess Kylie Minogue.

The Co Londonderry schoolgirl had her idol in a spin following her "moving" performance on BBC1 talent show The Voice. The pint-sized pop star was so excited when she heard the Drumsurn teenager sing she leapt to her feet and danced around her red chair.

A delighted Kylie told the pretty 16-year-old: "I gotta do the rain dance around my chair", before adding: "You are what I was just dreaming of hearing and then seeing.

"You were so moving, touching... the purity of your voice. It was a beautiful song choice. I would love to work with you, that is all I am saying." The Limavady Grammar School pupil also impressed mentors Tom Jones and Ricky Wilson with her rendition of the Emeli Sande hit Clown.

Although will.i.am failed to push his button and turn around for her, he told Rachael he had been a fool to bypass her.

But it was her musical heroine Kylie that Rachael had set out to win over and after some encouraging words from will.i.am, she chose the Australian superstar as her mentor.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph yesterday, Rachael said it was her dream to be the next Kylie Minogue.

"To have people compare me to Kylie is just amazing," she said. "I want to get as much as I can out of The Voice. It's my dream to sing and make an album, but if I was to be the next Kylie I would be the happiest girl in the world.

"Seeing Kylie's reaction was just unbelievable. It's crazy to know that someone like that is behind you. She is really lovely."

Rachael said she had almost been tempted by both Jones and Wilson, whose pitches to join their teams made her decision more difficult.

But she was persuaded to follow her heart and choose Kylie by some wise words from will.i.am.

"I always wanted Kylie but Tom and Ricky said such lovely things too, so it was pretty tough.

"But once will.i.am said that it would be 'spectacular' if I went with Kylie, I knew she was the mentor for me."

The teenager has been inundated with messages of support on Twitter, with Rochelle Humes from The Saturdays, boxing legend Barry McGuigan and last year's Voice runner-up, Co Antrim girl Leah McFall, in her camp.

And she joked that she is now in competition with her brother, rugby star Niall, to win the most followers on Twitter. The former Ulster and Connacht player is currently with Jersey RFC.

Rachael said: "Niall's pretty well known in rugby circles but we have a bit of a competition going on now to see which one of us can get the most support on Twitter.

"He's very proud of me, as are all of my family. I really can't believe this is all happening to me."

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