‘The Voice’ star Rachael speaks ahead of Saturday’s screening

Rachael O'Connor - (C) Wall To all - Photographer: Guy Levy
Rachael O'Connor - (C) Wall To all - Photographer: Guy Levy

Ahead of the screening of Limavady girl Rachael O’Connor’s appearance in front of the judges on BBC singing contest ‘The Voice’, the 16-year-old spoke to the Sentinel about her nerves, her excitement and the support from everyone at Limavady Grammar School.

The local girl, from Drumsurn, sang in front of judges Tom Jones, Will.I.Am, the Kaizer Chief’s frontman Ricky Wilson and Aussie superstar Kylie Minogue. Her performance of Emile Sande’s ‘Clown’ wowed the judges but she remained tight lipped about whether or not she had made it through to the next round.

Speaking to the Sentinel, the pretty teenager said that her journey from appearing in the Millenium Forum Youth Theatre in their production of Grease, to appearing in front of an audience of millions, has been “so crazy.”

She said: “I’m absolutely delighted. It was so crazy. When I was in the Millenium Forum it seemed like the biggest thing ever and now this.

“It went really well. It was all positive. When you watch the show you can see that there aren’t many nasty comments made.”

Asked what it was like singing in front of the four superstar judges, Rachael said: “All the time when I was singing in front of them I was thinking - in these chairs are four icons. Once I was speaking to them at the end it was okay and they are all really lovely. Then when I went away it started to sink in - I was just speaking to those people.

“Before I went on stage I was nervous all day - I couldn’t eat, that type of thing. About an hour before I had to go on I managed to get myself ready for it. When I got handed the microphone the adrenaline just took over. I can’t even really remember what I was doing”, she laughed. “At the time of my performance I wasn’t really thinking about all the people at home, I was more thinking ‘let’s impress these judges, let’s make them turn around’”, she added.

Rachael said that everyone at her school has been incredibly supportive, but that the fact she was due to appear on ‘The Voice’ was perhaps the worst kept secret in Limavady. “To be honest because Limavady is so small it’s the worst kept secret. I came back to school after it was recorded last year, 2013 I mean. It was recorded then and after I did it I went back to school. I was really excited then and I think now everyone else is making me really excited about it again.

“It’s amazing. The school have been very supportive.”

It is to be screened on BBC One at the slightly later than usual time of 7.10pm.