She may have lost out in tonight’s battle round of The Voice but singer Elise Evans says singing The Green Green Grass of Home to her mentor Sir Tom Jones felt like winning the show.
The 18 year old, who wowed judges Sir Tom, Jessie J, Danny O’Donoghue and Will.i.am in the first round of the BBC talent series’ blind auditions with her rendition of Etta James’ Something’s Got A Hold On Me, failed to get through to the next round in the battle show.
But Elise, from Glynneath, is proud of her achievements, not least performing one of her favourite songs to the legendary Sir Tom.
Elise, who was in a sing-off with Cherelle Basquine, said: “I was a bit starstruck when I first met Sir Tom and after we finished the first show, he took us all to Covent Garden for a night out. He told me all about why he’d sung certain songs in the past and it was just brilliant.
“He really took the time to chat to me and get to know all the other contestants and I was so happy I picked him as my mentor because I’ve always been such a fan. But to be sitting beside him and talking away was insane.
“During rehearsals Cerys asked me to sing Green Green Grass of Home to Tom and I wasn’t fazed at all. But then when I came out, and actually thought about what I’d done I just burst into tears. I couldn’t believe it. What an achievement and opportunity.”
Elise was given Pixie Lott’s All About Tonight to sing against Cherelle but was not chosen to go through to the next round by Sir Tom.
“Before I went on stage to sing, Jessie J gave me a little pep talk. It was all off camera and I was really grateful to her. It’s a shame not to get through but I’m really OK about it. I’m determined to keep singing and I’m working in an office now so that I can afford to record, because it’s quite expensive!”
Cardiff-based opera singer Carla Maney also battled it out in the battle round but failed to make it through with her singing partner Barbara Kelly after losing to Leanne Jarvis.
The 48 year old, a former student of Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, said she was glad to have brought opera to Saturday night TV and has “absolutely no regrets” about taking part in the show.
She said: “We picked Will because we wanted someone who would think outside the box. Even though Barbara and I were the oldest, having to learn to sing a song that I didn’t know so quickly, I felt like a newbie. We were given Mariah Carey and Pavorotti’s version of Hero to sing and had to learn it very quickly, which I’m not really used to. I like to take time to learn when to breathe, to really study the notes and then the words but that wasn’t really possible although we did the best we could.
“Being on the show was a fantastic and positive experience though. I have absolutely no regrets at all.”