Sally Barker soared through to the live shows of The Voice at the weekend, sadly it was the end of the road for singer James Byron.
Mum-of-two Sally, of Lutterworth, appeared during the knock-out stages of The Voice on Saturday night where she was selected as the first act of three to go through to the live finals which get under way on BBC One. next Saturday
Illston-on-the-Hill singer James Byron performed on Sunday night as part of team Will-i-am’s remaining seven, but was sent home after failing to persuade he had the potential to thrive in the live shows.
He sang 1960s tune Love Hurts by The Everly Brothers and received praise from the celebrity judges following his performance in the knock-out stages.
Sally impressed her mentor Sir Tom Jones with her rendition of Walk On By.
The Welsh superstar had tears in his eyes during the performance and had to be given a hanky from fellow judge Kylie Minogue.
Kylie said: “That was beautiful, she makes the room stop.
“When she performs we are under her spell. The energy in the room changes.”
Sally said her song choice reminded her of being a teenager and that she was enjoying herself in the competition and wanted to go as far as she could. Her two teenage sons were seen in the audience supporting their mum.
Sir Tom described the experienced singer, who has in the past supported legend Bob Dylan, as having a magical effect on the audience with the aura she brings to the stage.
Kaiser Chiefs frontman and fellow judge Ricky Wilson, turned to Tom following Sally’s performance and said to him: “Well done on that one.”
James said that despite being knocked out at this stage of the contest he had thoroughly enjoyed his time on the show.
Before his performance, where he competed against six other diverse acts, James admitted that he was nervous.
He said: “I’m up against some stiff competition which is scary.”
His mentor Will-i-am compared James to David Bowie.
Following his performance, which was pre-recorded but shown on Sunday night, Jones told Will-i-am that he had liked it a lot.
James will be playing a gig at the Crumblin’ Cookie pub, in High Street, Leicester, tomorrow (Friday), and at Havana in Yeoman Street in the city next Friday, March 28.
James said on Sunday night’s show that during the process he had seen his confidence grow.
He said: At the beginning of the competition I was quite shy and introverted.
“Now with the help of Will, I have been able to come out of my shell. I’m going to take that through life.”
James and Sally both beat thousands of others who auditioned for The Voice to gain a spot in their respective teams’ final seven and Will-i-am was full of praise for James and the other three contestants who fell at the final hurdle.
The Black Eyed Peas singer said: “It is a treat to hear you sing and to see you perform.”
Next week the contestants, including Sally, will be seeking the support of the British public for the live stages of the competition.
Find out how to support her by watching the show from 6.45pm on BBC One on Saturday night.