The Voice: Rachael O’Connor vows to emulate idol Kylie despite shock exit
Rachael O’Connor was a shock elimination from The Voice after once being the bookies’ favourite.
But Limavady schoolgirl says she’s still determined to become a pop star every bit as big as her idol Kylie Minogue.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph after losing her place in BBC1 talent show on Saturday night, the 17-year-old said her dream of becoming a singer is still alive.
In a surprise move, the teenager — who had been the bookmakers' frontrunner to win from the start — was eliminated in the public vote.
Rachael was one of four casualties in the first live show of the series, which saw hopefuls whittled down from 12 to eight.
The coaches praised her uptempo performance of the McFly hit Shine A Light, but she lost her place in the competition after going head to head with Lee Glasson. Her mentor Kylie used her ‘fast pass’ to send Jamie Johnston through to the semi-finals. But she told Rachael she was confident this was not the end for her.
Rachael said that while she was gutted to be leaving the show, she had no intentions of giving up her dream of following in Kylie's famous footsteps.
And she said she believed the public was right to vote for Lee to go through.
Rachael said: “I was listening to Jamie and Lee during rehearsals and their vocals were amazing. I'm a performer. I don't want to just stand at the microphone and sing. I want to be like Kylie and have dancers and staging so maybe staying in The Voice wouldn't have been right, especially if it meant kicking out a brilliant singer like Lee.
“Obviously I'm devastated to be going home. I'm going from living the dream to back to reality and though everyone keeps saying this is only the beginning, it's hard for me when I see the competition ending for me.
“But I know this is what I want to do and now I just have to wait and see what happens. I don't want to give up on this. I've had a great platform and I have to work on that and just stay positive.”
Later this week Rachael will return to Limavady Grammar School to resume her studies. But she said she will still keep in touch with her mentor.
And she said she would jump at the chance to perform with Kylie when she plays the Odyssey Arena in Belfast later this year.
“I'd love to keep in touch her, she's been incredibly supportive and I might get the odd text from her,” she said. “But she's also a superstar and is very busy with her new album and tour.
“It would be amazing to sing with her in Belfast. I would absolutely love that. We'll just have to wait and see what happens.”
In her original blind audition, Rachael impressed the coaches with a stunning performance of the Emeli Sande song Clown. But she said she had no regrets about not performing a big ballad on Saturday night.
“Song choice is obviously important but I didn't want to waste the opportunity so I went out there to have fun with a big band and dancers,” she said.
“I didn't go onto The Voice to please people. I wanted to show that I can be a pop star, that I can sing uptempo and ballads. I didn't want to go out there and be a 17-year-old pretending to be a 30-year-old.
“I wanted to go out and have fun and that's what I did.”
“I'm going from living the dream to back to reality and though everyone keeps saying this is only the beginning, it's hard for me when I see the competition ending for me. But I know this is what I want to do and now I just have to wait and see what happens. I don't want to give up on this. I've had a great platform and I have to work on that and just stay positive.”
Rachael O’Connor after being eliminated from The Voice UK on a public vote.
Belfast Telegraph Digital