Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Amazing Andrea Begley is something special, say Voice judges

Andrea Begley's emotional performance on BBC1's The Voice
Andrea Begley's emotional performance on BBC1's The Voice

As auditions go, it was certainly something special.

Tyrone singer Andrea Begley got her ambition to win BBC talent show The Voice off to a promising start after an emotional audition for its four judges on Saturday.

The 26-year-old, who has only 10% vision as a result of childhood glaucoma, impressed mentors Danny O'Donoghue – who called her 'something special' – and Tom Jones with her rendition of Sarah McLachlan's Angel, prompting both to swing round their chairs in the blind audition.

But Andrea was unable to see which coaches, if any, turned round to face her and was thrilled when O'Donoghue leapt to his feet and declared: "I absolutely turned round. That was absolutely beautiful."

The civil servant, a niece of country legend Philomena Begley, had to be helped on stage for her performance.

Afterwards, she told the panel she had decided to audition for the show because the blind audition format put her on a 'level playing field' with the other contestants.

She said that music became her 'get out' after losing most of her sight, adding: "When I sing, it takes me to somewhere else, I feel a sense of relaxation."

Welsh crooner Tom Jones said he felt 'very emotional' about the way she had sung and said he would love to mentor her.

But she opted for Script front man O'Donoghue, who described her audition as 'amazing'.

He said: "From the first line of that song I just knew that this was something special.

"The mood just changed in the room. That is what a megastar does. They just change it."

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