Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Northern Irish pair in Voice final

Leah McFall
Leah McFall
Andrea Begley
Coach Will.i.am mentors Leah McFall on The Voice

Two Northern Irish singers have made it into the final of talent show The Voice after half of the hopefuls were axed from the competition.

Belfast's Leah McFall and Andrea Begley from County Tyrone will join Matt Henry and Mike Ward to battle it out to be crowned the winner of next week's final after receiving the most public votes.

Begley, who is visually impaired, looked delighted as she said: "All I can say is thank you so much to everyone who voted for me. For people to vote for me because of my singing is just the best feeling in the world."

The 27-year-old wowed judges with her rendition of Joan Osborne's One Of Us, but it was for the public to decide that they liked her above mentor Danny O'Donoghue's other act, Marl Michael, 27.

Saturday night's semi-final ended with Ash Morgan, Cleo Higgins and Joseph Apostol also learning they were going home.

Budding country singer Ward, 23, from Salford, said he was very "surprised" at getting through. "I never thought I'd have come this far," he added.

He beat coach Sir Tom Jones's other act, Apostol, 21, with the Welsh legend telling him: "I'm glad that I didn't have to make the decision tonight. It would have been a difficult one as they're both great singers and they're different from one another."

Higgins, who previously found fame in the late 1990s with girl band Cleopatra, sang a rousing version of Don't Let Go by En Vogue but lost out to will.i.am's other contestant, McFall, 23.

The 30-year-old, from Birmingham, said she had known she would be voted out. "I've had the best time," she said. "I knew I was going home. I'm so happy I'm leaving on a really good note."

The final of The Voice will be on BBC1 next Saturday.

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