Hayley wins place in Voice live knockouts

Hayley (right) in a head-to-head sing off with Jazmin Sawyers
Hayley (right) in a head-to-head sing off with Jazmin Sawyers

Talented Langho singer Hayley Eccles has done it and has clinched her place in next week’s live knockouts of ITV’s The Voice UK.

With just a week to go until the final stage of the competition begins, 22-year-old Hayley took centre stage in the sing off with former long jump athlete Jazmin Sawyers to secure her place on to the next stage of the fiercely-contested show.

Hayley hit the high notes performing Jess Glynne’s “Hold My Hand” in an attempt to stay on will.i.am’s team and she certainly impressed as Jazmin was eliminated.

Heaping praise, Will commented: “Both of you guys sounded spectacular, but the person going through is Hayley.”

Speaking of her performance, Hayley said: “I feel so happy and overwhelmed by it all and I have had such amazing positive feedback since the performance over the weekend!

“Time to start rehearsing for the big live show!”

Show coaches Gavin Rossdale, Jennifer Hudson, will.i.am and Sir Tom Jones have chosen their final six each.

The next four episodes of the competition will see one team take to the stage.

It’s not the coaches that the singers will have to impress though. They’ll be performing to earn the public vote – and each episode will see three acts go home.

For his final team, will.i.am has chosen Hayley, Michelle John (43), Spanish-born Clara Hurtado (20), 32-year-old Jason Jones from Birmingham, Tanya Lacey (31) from Bristol, and 17-year-old Lia White from Nottingham.

Hayley, who lives in Old Langho and sings and works part-time at the Black Bull pub, initially came under the national spotlight in January when she and her father, Geno Eccles (54) auditioned separately for the singing competition – with a bittersweet result when only one got through.

Geno failed to impress any of the coaches and had to leave the stage without any feedback.

However, Hayley, impressed rapper and entertainer Will.i.am who pressed his buzzer for her.

Despite his defeat, Geno jumped for joy backstage before rushing on to the stage to congratulate his daughter who belted out Paloma Faith’s Upside Down, while her mum and sisters waited backstage.

At the time, Will.i.am said: “I think you have a spectacular voice, really beyond,” Tom Jones added of his no-turn: “I couldn’t find anything wrong with it, I just didn’t feel it.” However, Gavin Rossdale noted: “You got the hardest guy here to turn around.”

“I pick you, so let’s go do magical stuff,” Will added.

Hayley has been singing since the age of five and performing at gigs since she was 15-years-old.

She attended All Hallows Catholic High School before studying performing arts at Cardinal Newman College, Preston. She moved to the Ribble Valley at the age of 18.

While she has four sisters who are also “great singers” it is just Hayley who wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and pursue it as a career. She said: “My family and friends are so proud of me.

“They’re finding it just as crazy as me, it’s all getting serious now with the Lives coming up and the nerves are kicking in, but this is what I was born to do so I’m ready to get on that stage and stay in Wills team!”