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Country loving Colleen out to wow Voice judges

By Cate McCurry

Published 19/02/2016

Colleen Gormley
Colleen Gormley
The coaches from The Voice, Ricky Wilson, Paloma Faith, Boy George and Will.i.am

A teacher from Co Londonderry is to appear as a contestant on the final blind auditions for The Voice.

Colleen Gormley, a singer and songwriter from Claudy, will serenade the four judges on the BBC One show this weekend.

The 28-year-old beat off almost 40,000 people to make it to the try-outs, where she will sing When You Say Nothing At All, a hit for Alison Krauss and Ronan Keating

However, the private school teacher is tight-lipped about the outcome, but did reveal she's the last contestant to fight for a spot on one of the coaches' teams.

As it stands, singer Paloma Faith has one free space in her line-up while Ricky Wilson, Boy George and Will.i.am each have two artists to accommodate.

Now living in London, Colleen, who has a passion for American country music, said she was "surprised" by the judges' comments.

"Although the Ronan Keating version wasn't my all-time favourite song, I did put an American country slant on to it," she said.

"I was the very last contestant of the whole blind audition so I didn't quite know if there was a space left on the coaches' teams.

"One of them said they were waiting on my kind of style and referred to me as "an angel", which was a very honourable comment and that was the highlight for me. I was surprised by the comments and ecstatic at what they said about me."

Colleen is one of 18 singers fighting for the last few remaining spots, but despite the pressure she said her strong faith helped her overcome any nerves.

She said: "My faith is important to me and I was saying my prayers before I went on stage to calm me down.

"I went on with the attitude that if it's meant for me it will happen, if not, then so be it.

"I thought I was going to be a lot more nervous but a sense of calm came over me and I felt at home and it didn't really matter who was sitting on the chairs. I thought if the chair turns it's a moment of self-acceptance."

Colleen's love for American country music started at a young age when she and her mother sang and danced while doing the housework at their home in Claudy.

She admits that her dream is to turn professional and sing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The teacher, who lives in England with her husband Tony Peoples, was first noticed in a cafe while at a singing competition.

She added: "It all started in a singer-songwriter night in London in a cafe and there was a scout there and they asked me to audition.

"I approached the whole process that if it's meant to be it will be. I believe in being there at the right time. Otherwise I probably wouldn't have went down that road.

"The support from people at home in Co Derry has been so lovely."

To follow Colleen's story, visit her Facebook page by searching Colleen Gormley Music

Belfast Telegraph

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