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The Voice: Will.i.am picks Anna McLuckie

Mentor will.i.am turns to face Edinburgh harpist Anna McLuckie on The Voice. Picture: Comp

Mentor will.i.am turns to face Edinburgh harpist Anna McLuckie on The Voice. Picture: Comp

A CAPITAL schoolgirl is ­celebrating after being picked by global superstar will.i.am to compete in hit talent show The Voice.

Sixth-year Broughton High pupil Anna McLuckie chose the Black Eyed Peas frontman as her mentor after he went head to head with Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson to woo the talented harpist on to his team.

Anna, who has been playing the harp since she was nine and practises for two hours everyday, said: “It was really daunting getting up on the stage and seeing those four famous chairbacks – they’re a lot bigger than they look on screen.”

The 17-year-old said she was thrilled when Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky turned round almost immediately after she began her unique rendition of Daft Punk’s monster hit Get Lucky.

“I actually felt like I’d messed up the first line quite badly so it was a real confidence boost to know that I would definitely get through. After that I felt I could just relax and enjoy the ­performance.”

But while Ricky may have thought his luck was in, he was pipped at the post after a last minute endorsement from ­fellow judge will.i.am.

“Ricky did seem a wee bit annoyed when will.i.am turned round right at the last second. It actually threw me a bit too. Before going on the show I knew that I really wanted to be on Will’s team, but up until that second I was just thrilled that I was going through.

“It was very difficult to decide between them. Ricky was very persuasive and I almost decided to go with him, but in the end I knew it would be best to go with my initial choice. Will.i.am is a very intelligent man, and I knew I could learn so much from him. But I did feel really horrible turning Ricky down when he’d shown such faith in me straight away.”

Anna also received praise from Welsh crooner Tom Jones, who also sits as a judge along with pop princess Kylie Minogue.

“Even though Tom didn’t turn round for me he was still very complimentary. Last season he, Will and previous judges Jessie J and Danny O’Donoghue performed a version of Get Lucky and Tom said he actually preferred mine.

“Kylie already had two people on her team by the time I auditioned so maybe she was just being cautious with her choices – or maybe my voice just wasn’t her cup of tea.”

Anna is already well known for her talents within her home city, having played at official events including last year’s inaugural Lord Provost Garden party.

The Stockbridge teenager, who also plays piano and has taken part in additional studies at The City of Edinburgh Music School since 2005, has been accepted to study at the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester when she leaves school.

Tudor Morris, the director of The City of Edinburgh Music School, said: “When Anna auditioned for the Royal Northern College before Christmas, she did not even mention her involvement with The Voice, and that she was already on first name terms with stars such as will.i.am, Kylie, Tom and Ricky, which is very much to her credit.”

But fans of the show will have to wait to find out how long Anna’s involvement lasts, as she herself is sworn to secrecy.

“I can’t tell you anything, I’m afraid, you’ll just have to keep watching. I can’t even say who else is on my team, as we don’t know which auditions will be broadcast when.

“What I can say is that one of the most enjoyable aspects of being on the show was all the lovely people I got to meet who were also taking part.

“It was a fantastic atmosphere and everyone got on really well.”

The next episode of The Voice will be broadcast on BBC1 this Saturday.

 

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