Belfast Telegraph

Daniel on a mission to wow Rita and co in Voice TV duel

By Joanne Sweeney

He's the Co Down singing sensation preparing for the biggest battle of his life.

Tonight it will be the soulful crooner versus the power ballad singer on BBC's The Voice.

Daniel Duke will take on Cai Williams from Wales in the second round of the hit talent show.

They will be singing the R&B hit, Am I Wrong, by Nico and Vinz in what has been billed as one of the most unusual battles to date.

The pairing of the singers by veteran judge Sir Tom Jones took them both by surprise, said Daniel last night.

"It was all pretty nerve-wrecking. I tried to predict who I would battle against and tried to rate my chances, but I never thought it would be Cai as we are so different. Cai is this big power ballad singer from Wales while I'm a singer-songwriter.

"Sir Tom wanted to challenge us, to take us out of our comfort zones," said the 24-year-old from Banbridge. "He said that the battle for us was not more about how good of singers we are, as we can both sing, but more about how well we made the song our own.

"At times it sounded like two completely different songs."

Daniel added that initially Cai was not happy that he was allowed to play his guitar as it could have given him a extra opportunity to show off another skill.

"I'm really glad that I was allowed to play my guitar because I am a musician and that's what I do.

"I think it shows that there is a place on the shows like The Voice for serious musicians, as I think there is a perception that there's not."

While Daniel has been sworn to secrecy regarding the outcome of the battle, his exposure on the blind audition round of the show has already boosted his career.

"Things are going great for me and the reaction has been brilliant," he told the Belfast Telegraph. "My blind audition was in the top five of all the auditions and that's an amazing thing to have achieved.

"One of my own songs, Borderline, has just got into the semi-final of the International Songwriting competition which had over 18,000 entries from 120 countries."

Despite his twin, James, not getting through to the next round, Daniel said: "James is brilliant, he's still playing away with his band. His performance got over 300,000 views and he's now got a huge following of young girls who think he's absolutely gorgeous, so he's doing all right."

Daniel's mum Sue, dad Andy, brother James, sister Rachel and girlfriend Hannah McCafferty were in the audience to support him during the recording last October. The Voice will be broadcast on BBC1 tonight from 7pm.

Daniel Duke and his twin brother James (24) from Banbridge, Co Down, both auditioned for BBC's The Voice this season. Daniel, who performed his version of the Proclaimers' I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), saw three of the judges turn round for him; rocker brother James did not get through. Singer songwriter Daniel has been writing his own songs since he was 14.

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