The elated father of The Voice hopeful Saskia Eng said his daughter is “one of a kind” after she progressed into the next stage of the competition in dramatic fashion.
The Edinburgh-born student went toe-to-toe in a thrilling battle with rival Ruti Olajugbagbe performing Florence and the Machine’s hit Dog Days Are Over.
After losing the closing fought contest, artist will.i.am stepped in to save Saskia by stealing her from fellow judge Sir Tom Jones.
Saskia’s dad, Tony, told the Evening News: “It was so intense. Those were the emotional highs and lows. It looked like it may be over but then two minutes later it’s all good.
“Saskia and Ruti were both as good as each other on the night and I think in the end it was the ideal result with both of them getting through. They’re now good friends which must have made it even harder. But she is one of a kind. Not a lot phases her. She loves performing and playing in front of an audience. It’s amazing to think she’s the youngest in the competition at just 16 and does what she wants in front of the judges, audience and millions at home. It’s been an amazing experience for her so far and it can only help her fulfil her dream.”
The judging panel was blown away by the top talent on display with Olly Murs admitting he would not want to choose between the two artists.
will.i.am said: “I like how full Saskia’s voice is. It just took up the entire room and was very pleasant to hear.”
It was then down to Sir Tom Jones to decide between the pair for a spot in his team for the next round with the Welsh legend opting for Ruti, leaving the 16-year-old looking at the exit door.
With only will.i.am the only judge having a steal available, The City of Edinburgh Music School pupil appealed to him to keep her dream alive.
She said: “It’s been amazing being in the competition so far. Obviously I don’t want it to end. I’d love to be on your team.”
But just as a looked to be all over for the singing sensation, the former Black Eyed Peas frontman pushed his button to give Saskia a lifeline in the competition.
Saskia said: “That was just the most amazing experience, no one realises how it feels to be singing to stay in the competition against someone you really like. I enjoyed it so much and so glad we are both still there.”
will.i.am had earlier admitted making a ‘big mistake’ in not turning round during Saskia’s blind audition, when she performed ‘Strong’ by London Grammar to wow the judges, telling Saskia she had an “awesome vibe.”
He said: “I’m so happy Saskia’s on Team Will. She’s awesome.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted to offer her congratulations to Saskia after her audition. And she is no stranger to TV. She appeared on Britain’s Got Talent first as a nine-year-old, then again when she was 13, having also won the Edinburgh Has Talent contest at the age of 12.
She also took social media by storm when her cover of Adele’s hit Hello about the Forth Road Bridge went viral.
Saskia now lines up on Team Will as she progresses to the knockout rounds.