Northern Ireland

Andrea Begley aims to be next winner of BBC's The Voice

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWatch Andrea Begley's performance which won her a place in the next round

She's a 26-year-old Tyrone woman who has her heart set on becoming the nation's next big singing sensation.

Andrea Begley, who has only 10% vision, impressed the judges during the opening night of this series of The Voice.

The BBC One show, featuring four A-list coaches, aims to find an incredible singing talent chosen purely on the quality of their voice.

´╗┐The artists are selected, mentored, and trained by four of the most successful figures in the music industry: Jessie J, will.i.am, Danny O'Donoghue and Sir Tom Jones.

As a niece of Irish country legend Philomena Begley, Andrea has singing in her blood.

But nothing could have prepared the Pomeroy civil servant for the blind audition she faced on Saturday night - where the judges do not see the singer until they swing around in their chairs.

Andrea suffers from glaucoma; she can make out some basic outlines, but nothing in any real detail, and had to be led onto the stage.

She said it was "probably the most nerve-racking thing I have ever done in my life".

"Singing for four superstars in their own right and in front of an audience of about 1,000 people, at the best of times, is challenging never mind hoping they'll turn around and take you onto their team," she said.

Andrea told the panel she had decided to audition for the show because the blind audition format put her on a "level playing field" with the other contestants.

"When I sing, it just takes me to somewhere else, somewhere that's totally cut off from reality," she said.

"I just feel a complete sense of relaxation and it's just something that I can automatically do without needing any assistance or having any issues.

"I think that's maybe why it's so important to me.

Image caption Andrea chose Danny O'Donoghue as her mentor

"I couldn't actually see the chairs or very much at all in the studio, just a lot of bright lights. I had no idea whether the chairs had turned round or not."

Danny O'Donoghue from Irish band, The Script, was first to turn around and she chose him as her mentor over Welsh crooner, Sir Tom Jones.

Danny ran onto the stage and told her her singing was "absolutely beautiful".

He said: "From the first line of that song, I was like: 'This is something special' because the mood just changed in the room. That's what a mega star does, they just change it."

Sir Tom Jones said: "Your voice is so beautiful and I had to let you know that".

Afterwards, Andrea said it had been a "phenomenal experience".

"I was absolutely thrilled. Just watching it back and listening to it back with the family, at home, was quite an experience."

She said she chose Danny as she felt she could learn a lot from him as a songwriter.

But she joked: "It's not very many women who get to turn down Tom Jones. That could be my claim to fame if nothing else."