Belfast Telegraph

The Voice's Daniel Duke pins hopes on a mandolin

By Maureen Coleman

A singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland is just one step away from the live shows of The Voice UK after winning his battle round in the talent competition.

Daniel Duke, who is being mentored by Sir Tom Jones, was pitted against flamboyant Welsh rocker Cai Williams to perform the 2014 smash hit Am I Wrong by Nico & Vinz.

The 24-year-old busker from Banbridge, who emerged as an early frontrunner following his blind audition, performed on his guitarand despite admitting to nerves ahead of the show, impressed his mentor who put him straight through to the next round.

He will now take part in the knock-outs, which will feature eight contenders fighting it out for a top three place.

Daniel is hoping his secret weapon next week will take him all the way to the live shows.

"I'm not allowed to say what my song is, but again, it's different and maybe not what you'd expect. And next week I'll be dropping the guitar and playing a different instrument, the mandolin," he said.

"I just want to show what I can do. I don't think there's ever been a mandolin played on The Voice before."

Daniel said he had never imagined going up against Cai in the Battles because both singers have such different vocal styles and that he was nervous about taking on the Welshman's powerful voice.

"But in the end, I think we both did the song justice and I was delighted when Sir Tom called out my name to go through."

Equally thrilled was Daniel's twin, James, who leapt to his feet in the audience when his brother was announced as the winner of the Battle round. James also auditioned for this series of The Voice but did not make it through.

Daniel said: "James is very proud of course and I wanted to do it for him as well."

Next week is the final round before the live shows, when 20 of the remaining 32 will be sent home.

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