Andrea Begley has been crowned the winner of The Voice - a victory she said she “never, ever, ever could have imagined” was possible.
The partially-sighted singer from County Tyrone in Northern Ireland, who has just 10% vision, was rendered tongue-tied when her name was announced as the winner of the BBC show.
“I actually can’t speak,” she said. Adding: “I never ever ever could have imagined this.”
Andrea, described as an “inspiration” by her coach Danny O’Donoghue from The Script, promised fans she would do her utmost to build on her win. “Hopefully I’ll try my best to put your vote to good use and be a success,” she said.
The singer, who thought she would never make it to the final, wowed all four coaches earlier in the evening. After her rendition of My Immortal, Danny said: “There wasn’t one hair on my body that wasn’t standing up.”
When asked what he thought of the star who hails from the small village of Pomeroy, Sir Tom Jones said: “She has a beautiful sound. Very emotional.”
Will. i. am was transfixed by Andrea’s dulcet tones, describing her style as “calming, soothing, a great escape”.
During the grand final, the 2013 victor took to the stage with Danny’s band The Script and performed their hit Hall of Fame, which she said was “such an honour” and “such a privilege”. Andrea received a rapturous response when she returned to her home village earlier this week, quipping: “Never mind being blind, I’ll be deaf by the end of this!”
Will.i.am later branded the final result of the show “so sad” and “unexplainable” - adding that he was “perplexed” by the public vote after seeing his singer, hot favourite and fellow Northern Ireland contestant Leah McFall, beaten in the phone vote.
He quickly followed it with a second tweet: “Andrea is amazing...#dontGETmeWRONG...but we know who has the incredible #voice.”