Bookies' favourite Kevin Simm into The Voice final
Published 02/04/2016 | 16:31
Kevin Simm has been voted into next week's live final of The Voice following an "amazing" rendition of Adele's Rolling In The Deep.
"I just can't believe it. Thank you everyone for voting for me," the shocked contestant told co-presenter Marvin Humes.
Simm will be joined by former X Factor contestant Lydia Lucy, who also won the favour of the voting public.
The former Liberty X star is the new 7-4 favourite to win the competition with bookmaker Coral, replacing teenager Cody Frost.
The Chorley-born vocalist kicked off Saturday's penultimate show of the BBC One talent series to loud cheers and praise from the all-star judging panel of Ricky Wilson, will.i.am, Paloma Faith and Boy George.
"It's a good start," Simm's mentor Wilson said.
"You've made it pretty impossible for anyone else to sing. That was amazing, Kevin. You did it, you did it perfectly."
US artist will.i.am added: "I'm really confused on why you don't have a career, and why you're a contestant. I just don't get it."
Lancashire's Frost has drifted out to 9-4 in the outright betting, but she has progressed to the final alongside Cumbrian singer Jolan.
However, the show bade a fond farewell to pop star wannabes Heather Cameron-Hayes, Jordan Gray, Vangelis and Lyrickal.
Student Cameron-Hayes said: "It's been the best time of my life."
Gray, who was born male but now lives as a woman, called The Voice: "The first step of a very, very, long road."
Londoner Vangelis said: "Everyone should be proud of themselves."
Fellow London-born contestant Lyrickal stated: "It's been a blast. I've enjoyed every second."
Essex's Lucy was crushed after losing out on Simon Cowell's ITV show, but her rendition of The Jackson 5 classic I'll Be There won favour with fans.
Previously praised for the ease with which she can switch between singing and rapping, she utilised this skill on the Motown track.
"She deserves to be not only in the finals - she deserves to be out there in the world being a magnet, drawing people to arenas," mentor will.i.am said.
Burnley-raised Frost tackled Fleetwood Mac's The Chain.
Last week, sound issues affected her performance, but it was much smoother sailing for the 18-year-old inside Elstree Studios this week.
"It was amazing," Boy George enthused. "Look how happy I look. I'm the happiest person in Elstree, and all surrounding areas. Amazing!"
Moor Row performer Jolan strummed away on the guitar for his version of Prince's Purple Rain.
"I love you, man," Kaiser Chiefs frontman Wilson told him.
"I really hope you go through because you deserve to play again. You deserve people to hear you, and if that doesn't do it, I don't know what will."
Teenager Cameron-Hayes put an acoustic spin on Justin Bieber's smash hit Sorry, while Essex's Gray covered Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark.
Vangelis gave a theatrical rendition of Christina Aguilera hit Beautiful, and Lyrickal performed Wiz Khalifa's See You Again featuring Charlie Puth.
The night also featured appearances from established music stars.
Brit award winner Tinie Tempah accompanied Swedish star Zara Larsson on her single Lush Life.
Vocalist Birdy also hit the stage with her latest release entitled Wild Horses.
Rounding out the guests, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Craig David and London-born soul singer Lianne La Havas featured in videotaped segments.
All four coaches performed with their semi-finalists.
Team Wilson sang Power Of Love by Huey Lewis And The News, while Boy George's team performed Culture Club hit Victims.
Faith, the lone panellist with no acts in next week's final, collaborated with her team on Janis Joplin's Piece Of My Heart.
US artist will.i.am kept the good times going with a 1970s medley that included Chic's Good Times.
:: The Voice's live final will be broadcast on April 9.