Kevin Simm 'overwhelmed' by Ricky Wilson backing on The Voice
Published 13/03/2016 | 05:46
Liberty X singer Kevin Simm has said he is "overwhelmed" at being chosen for The Voice's live shows by coach Ricky Wilson.
The former pop star was one of 16 acts who performed for the all-star panel of will.i.am, Paloma Faith, Boy George and Wilson on Saturday night's knock-out stage of the competition.
The four coaches have to cut their individual teams down from eight acts to just three and this week, Faith and Wilson's teams were up first.
Chorley-born singer Simm impressed the Kaiser Chiefs frontman with his rendition of Wings by Birdy.
As Wilson announced his name, a clearly moved Simm placed his head in his hands.
"I'm overwhelmed slightly," the 35-year-old told presenter Emma Willis. "Apart from my wedding day and the birth of my two kids, this is the best night I've ever had."
"Kevin is an awesome singer. Top-notch professional. He has the chops," US artist will.i.am stated.
Liberty X's Just A Little won a Brit award for best British single in 2003. The five-piece enjoyed several more hits before calling it a day in 2007.
Simm released an album in 2008, but he experienced commercial failure as a soloist.
Wilson also selected Durham busker Chloe Castro after hearing her version of Alive by Sia.
"Life's full of tough decisions, this isn't one of them," he said as he announced the 19-year-old as his first choice for the live shows.
Faith said: "Chloe blew me away tonight. She's so slight and then she just sung like that. Wow! She's a perfect contradiction."
The final place on Wilson's team went to Jolan, who performed Never Tear Us Apart by INXS.
Wilson said the Cumbrian contestant shows him his "soul" whenever he sings.
Boy George also complimented the 21-year-old. "He's got this incredible white soul voice and you're amazed at what comes out of his mouth."
Earlier in the show, Essex resident Jordan Gray progressed from the knock-outs after she wowed coach Faith with her version of Real Gone Kid by Deacon Blue.
"I look forward to making you proud," she told Faith. "I love you guys so much. This is the best experience of my life."
Gray, who was born male but now lives as a female, originally failed her blind audition, but s he was given a second chance when Londoner JJ Soulx left the BBC One show.
Boy George praised Gray's performance as "one of the best things I've seen tonight".
Faith's all-girl team also includes Maidenhead singer Beth Morris, who chose Jumpin' Jack Flash by The Rolling Stones as her knock-outs song.
A tearful Morris said: "Thank you, Paloma. I just look forward to working with you and smashing every single door down!"
Teenager Heather Cameron-Hayes has also made it to the live shows. She burst into tears when her name was called.
Faith described the 16-year-old as "an old soul".
Wilson hailed Cameron-Hayes's evocative version of Holding Out For A Hero by Bonnie Tyler.
In a surprise result, Hartlepool's Rick Snowdon missed out on a spot in the live shows on Faith's team.
The rocker wannabe, who lost half of his 26-stone body weight, has been inundated with bizarre gifts from around the world since he shot to fame on the TV talent show.
Looking ahead, Yorkshireman Wilson said: "I think my team as a whole is fantastic. Emotional voices and they won't let me down."
"I'm so happy with team Paloma," Faith said. "There's something for everybody in my team."
:: The Voice continues next week.