Stars including Sir Tom Jones and Kylie Minogue were amazed by the vocal ability of a Leamington man who will appear on national television for the second weekend running tomorrow (Saturday).
Tom Barnwell, 26, who was born in Cubbington and attended Telford and North Leamington schools, featured on BBC’s singing show The Voice on Saturday on which his ‘blind audition’ was a complete success.
All of the panel, including the two aforementioned chart toppers and Kaiser Chiefs singer Ricky Wilson, wanted Tom to be on their team after he gave a superb rendition of Estelle’s American Boy
Tom said: “The audition was filmed last year and it was weird living it again. I went to watch it with some friends and I was actually more nervous seeing it again than I was being there.”
It was superstar producer and Black Eyed Peas front man Will.i.am, American Boy’s writer, who Tom Picked as a mentor but he said he had no particular preference as to which judge he wanted to work with before the audition.
Tom said: “When I was up there I just went with my gut feeling. I hadn’t thought about making that decision as I thought that at best I’d get one and I didn’t really expect to have any pick me.
“I had actually concentrated on what to say in that awkward time when you haven’t been picked and you just want to get off the stage.
“My family thought I would pick Kylie , as she is one of my guilty pleasures, but in the end Will seemed like the obvious choice after I’d sung that song.”
Tom, who works as an ambulance operator, has helped other aspiring singers as a performance coach and was a regular performer at the Jam Nights at the Clarendon Pub in Leamington.
He also has a monthly gig at the Rhubarb restaurant in Warwick Street.
In his younger days he won a public vote to be part of a boy band called Last Chance which was set up by Mercia FM, now Free Radio, to raise money for charity by recording and performing the single Hold On.
The group appeared at the Ricoh Arena and at a Coventry Blaze ice hockey match.
The next round of The Voice is the battles, which will involve Tom going head-to-head with a fellow contestant to show who is the better singer.
This too has already been recorded, with the live shows not taking place until later in the competition.
Tom said: “I’m feeling quite overwhelmed at the moment.
“It’s just really nice to be able to tell people I’ve got through when before I couldn’t say anything.
“I’ve gained some new followers online and the support people have been showing is really nice.”
A video of Tom’s sparkling audition, which got the judges up and dancing, can be watched on Youtube.
To see if Tom gets through watch The Voice BBC One on Saturday night from 7pm.
For Tom’s website visit www.tombarnwell.com or twitter @tombarnwell