Andrea Begley: Winner of The Voice is still 'in shock'

The moment the finalists were announced

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The Northern Irish winner of BBC One's The Voice has said she is still in a "state of shock" after claiming the top prize.

Andrea Begley, 27, who is partially-sighted, gets a "lucrative" recording contract for triumphing in the final.

Fellow Northern Irish finalist Leah McFall had been the bookmakers' favourite to win.

Begley said she was delighted with her success and that it dispelled any notion of a "sympathy vote".

"I think I can stand back and say now my role in this competition and my success in this competition has been down to my singing and it has not been for any other reason," she told BBC Radio Ulster.

"My vision is obviously a part of me, but it is not everything I am about.

"To be honest most of the time I just go on like anyone else.

"There are things I can't do and I won't be able to do, someone mentioned if you got money what would you do buy a car?

"I said no matter with all the money in the world, it is not going to buy a blind person a licence.

"I have never really let it have a major impact on me, I have always been very determined, to the point of being stubborn.

"I just try and find the best way I can around things and I feel very much vindicated that people voted for me because they liked my singing and no other reasons."

The County Tyrone woman had chosen to sing My Immortal by Evanescence in the final, before joining mentor Danny O'Donoghue's band The Script to perform Hall Of Fame, and then Angel by Sarah McLachlan in the last round.

"Danny and the guys from The Script had spoken to me before I went on, because obviously I was very nervous as it was the final and they said 'look we still get nervous' just remember you are in the final, enjoy it have a bit of fun and try and block out things," she added.

"I thought to myself 'yeah I'm sure I'm going to be able to block out the fact that there are millions of people watching this', but actually when I got up there I was able to zone out and focus entirely on the music and that's what I needed to do to win.

"I managed to pull it off."

The 27-year-old civil servant said she was now keen to get into the recording studio.

"I have got ideas and I have got songs, so I am going to get in the studio and work with people, maybe other writers and see what we can come up with, so I can get something out there pretty quickly," she said.

"From my own personal point of view, I know that I have got ideas and a direction that I need to go as an artist, so there is a lot of potential there.

"It is not an automatic ingredient for success, just because you win The Voice, but if you put the work in, I think there is a good chance there will be success from it and that's what I am willing to do."

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