SHE APPEARED under a stage name in the blind auditions, but Limerick’s own Lesley Ann Halvey created quite a stir on new RTÉ show The Voice of Ireland.
Performing as Onya Gray at the suggestion of a Los Angeles based record producer, Garryowen musician Lesley-Ann wowed the coaches on the show on Sunday night, with her stirring performance of the Kate Bush classic Running Up That Hill.
Halvey - a veteran of You’re a Star and the Eurovision Song Contest with her former band, Black Daisy - caused consternation among three of the four coaches, with Bressie - Niall Breslin - Brian Kennedy and Sharon Corr all vying for her talents. Corr won out, much to Lesley-Ann’s delight.
“If one judge had turned around and I wouldn’t have cared who it was, I would have been absolutely over the moon, but I really wasn’t expecting three to turn around - I was completely stunned,” Lesley-Ann told the Limerick Chronicle this Tuesday.
“Sharon made me the best offer out of all three. She is by far the most credible coach out of all four of them, she’s done so much worldwide and I grew up listening to the Corrs so she is an idol for me - she was the first to turn around as well, I couldn’t believe it,” she added.
‘Onya’ will now go forward to the battle stages of the show, which will take place in several weeks. Halvey said she was nervous performing by herself, without the safety net of her band mates beside her.
“I wondered if I really wanted to do it all again, but doing it as a solo artist was almost like doing it all for the very first time, because everything I have ever experienced has been with a band,” she explained.
Bunratty man Gari Deegan, a 28 year old part-time DJ with Spin South West who already has experience on the stage, performing at Electric Picnic and with John Legend as a member of the Dublin Gospel Choir, was also selected. Deegan was selected by Bressie, former lead singer with The Blizzards.
The show continues this Sunday night on RTÉ One at 6.30pm.