Belfast Telegraph

The Voice: Daniel Duke's a hit but there's no twin delight as brother James exits

By Maureen Coleman and Amanda Ferguson

A singer who stormed through the blind auditions of The Voice has described his moment of glory as "bittersweet" after his twin brother failed to make it through to the next round.

Daniel and James Duke (24) from Banbridge auditioned separately for the BBC1 talent show. But while Daniel's unique rendition of The Proclaimers' hit I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) on Saturday night prompted mentor Rita Ora to describe his performance as "captivating", rock singer James wasn't as fortunate.

Daniel watched his twin perform a mash-up of Taylor Swift and Fall Out Boy from the side of the stage, while the rest of the family looked on together backstage. When none of the mentors pressed their red button, Daniel leapt onto the stage to console his twin, telling him that he loved him.

Daniel, who is now an early favourite to win, said: "I had about 10 or 15 minutes of enjoying that moment when three of the coaches turned around for me, but then it was James' turn to perform and I was devastated for him when they didn't push their red buttons.

"I thought he gave a storming performance but I think he was quite nervous, having to come on and perform after me. Maybe if it had been another day and he'd gone on first, it might have been different.

"James is a ready-made star and I think he's amazing, so he'll make it anyway.

"He was disappointed, naturally, but he's delighted for me and really supportive. Before the auditions, both of us had said that if only one of us was to go through, he hoped it would be me and I hoped it would be him.

"But it was bittersweet for me. I'm obviously pleased that I'm through to the Battle Rounds but I wish James was going through with me."

Daniel's performance of The Proclaimers song was praised by all four mentors, with will.i.am comparing his voice to an angel, while Rita Ora said: "You're the captivating thing that everyone wants to look for to make them feel good."

But while Daniel was thrilled with the feedback, there was a moment when he began to think that he was going home.

"The coaches didn't turn around until the very end of the song and by then, my stomach was in my throat," he said. "I really thought that was it, that none of them were going to turn round for me.

"Rita and Will gave really good pitches but I'd already decided that if Sir Tom Jones turned around for me, I'd go with him. He's more my genre of music and I think he'll get me and we'll work well together."

After his performance, Sir Tom told him: "I thought you did a great job. When the record came out it was a novelty record, but what you did is you made something out of the song. You made the song more credible than what I thought anyway."

Meanwhile, Rachel Murphy from Crumlin has sailed through to the next stage of The Voice of Ireland. The 21-year-old is making her bid for stardom on the RTE show and is thrilled to have secured a spot on Saturdays singer Una Foden's team despite battling a chest and throat infection.

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