Schoolgirl Saskia Eng is being tipped to go a long way in the STV talent show The Voice after wowing the crowd and star judges with her audition. Superstar singer Tom Jones picked the 16-year-old from Murrayfield for his team after she earned a standing ovation from the studio audience
Saskia initially confused the judges with her powerful rendition of Strong by London Grammar. “Is it a boy or girl?,” asked judge Olly Murrs, during the blind auditions. But fellow judge Jones was in no doubt about who was behind the deep vocal. “It’s definitely a woman,” he said.
But he was stunned after he turned around to discover that she was still at school.
“You have a very unusual voice. I love the sound of your voice because it’s different - in a great way,” the Welsh star told the City of Edinburgh Music School pupil.
Murrs said he had made a mistake by not turning his judge’s chair to choose Saskia for his team.
US singer Jennifer Hudson declared: “She is going to do well.”
Rapper Will.i.am, the final member of the talent show judging panel, said: “You sing incredibly. You have an awesome vibe.”
Watched by her proud parents Lee-Ann and Tony Saskia was rewarded with the loudest and longest standing ovation of the night.
Explaining how much it meant to her, the 16-year-old modestly told Olly: “I’m not very good at anything else. This is what I want to do.”
Saskia, who previously impressed judges on Britain’s Got Talent and as a 12-year-old won the Evening News talent contest Edinburgh has Talent, will return to the show as part of Tom Jones’ team, competing for a recording contract.
Saskia said it had been a “quite amazing” experience. “All my friends were messaging afterwards and congratulating me.”
She told the Evening News she was not nervous about her performance but about whether she would be chosen for one of the teams.
And she said she was “shocked and happy” when Tom Jones turned round to indicate he wanted her in his team.
But she said he was the judge she expected to pick her if anyone did. “For my kind of singing, I thought he was the one most likely to like it.”
And she was also delighted with Olly Murs’ remark that he had made a mistake in not choosing her for his team. “That was a compliment too,” she said.
Her dad Tony, a construction worker, said he was proud of Saskia’s performance.
“You can only tell her to do her best and hope for the best, it’s a difficult thing to do, especially when she is so young. There were a lot of good singers.
“But she has been singing from a young age - she has always loved an audience. And it never ceases to amaze what she manages to do.
“It’s a nerve-wracking thing to do. I don’t know how she manages it.”