A County Armagh teen singer/harpist has made the Final of ‘The Voice Kids’ at the weekend, narrowly missing out on victory.
As the final act, selected by her judge Ronan Keating following the Battle Round, 14-year-old Niamh Noade, from Lislea, took to the stage for the final during the extended show on Saturday night, singing her version of ‘People Help the People’ by Birdy accompanied with the harp.
The studio audience voted for the overall winner, twins Shanice and Andrea, but Niamh was full of praise for the singing siblings.
She said: “All the contestants have become really close through this process, so I’m really delighted for Shanice and Andrea. I thought they were absolutely amazing, and the atmosphere was electric during their performance, so I just want to say huge congratulations to them both and to all the finalists.”
During the show Ronan Keating said he felt “frozen in a moment” when he first heard Niamh, describing her voice as haunting, beautiful and elegant.
Following her solo performance as his “Celtic songbird”, Ronan said he was blown away by Niamh’s performance.
“To be able to do that at 14. Vocally incredible, there’s a sign in the audience ‘The Girl with the Harp’, but she’s the Girl with the Heart. We’re all just mesmerised. I’m so proud to be your coach.”
The other judges carried high praise for Niamh also.
Pixie Lott said it was mesmerising, while Will.i.am described her as “pure talent and fearless”. Danny Jones said she was amazing, praising her ability to connect with the emotion of the song in her performance.
In a surprise move, all four finalists were given a prize of a family holiday to Orlando, Florida.
For Niamh, who has just finished her 3rd year in St Paul’s High School in Bessbrook, it was quite a night to remember!
A previous finalist in the TG4 search for an Irish Junior Eurovision act, and a BBC Young Soloist Finalist, Niamh said the experience of being involved in a national TV Show was amazing.
Said Niamh: “From the first moment when I’d reached the blind audition stage to the final vote, the whole experience has been amazing. I was absolutely stunned when they said they were sending us all on holiday and my little sister and brother are thrilled too!
“I’ve met some amazing people, vocal coaches and made friends for life with all the team Ronan acts. To be coached by Ronan Keating was the absolute highlight,” she added.
Niamh’s mum Deirdre says it’s been an amazing experience for the whole family.
“Throughout the visits to London, myself and Malachy have really enjoyed watching Niamh progress and meet new people who love music as much as she does. We are unbelievably proud of her. To reach the Final in a national talent show like The Voice Kids is an amazing achievement – and the surprise holiday is the cherry on top!”
Deirdre added: “Ronan has said he’d like to work on a project with Niamh in the future, so that would be another amazing opportunity to come from the show! We have also been totally blown away by the judges’ comments which I know will be a massive boost to Niamh’s confidence and it’s great to see all her hard work paying off.”