COUNTY NEWS: Sussex student makes it through the battle rounds on The Voice

Clara Hurtado, 20, from Haywards Heath will now take part in the live knockouts. Picture: Steve Robards
Clara Hurtado, 20, from Haywards Heath will now take part in the live knockouts. Picture: Steve Robards
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A Sussex student has made it through the battle rounds on The Voice.

Clara Hurtado, 20, a second-year music student at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM), in Hove, Brighton, made it through the battle rounds on Saturday night (February 25) after going against rapper, Shakira on the ITV talent show.

If Clara is successful in the live knockouts she will gain a spot in the live stage shows. Picture: Rachel Joseph from ITV

If Clara is successful in the live knockouts she will gain a spot in the live stage shows. Picture: Rachel Joseph from ITV

The 20-year-old, who is half Spanish and lives in Haywards Heath, stunned all four judges in her blind audition performance on January 28, which saw her team up with American singer and producer, Will.i.am.

Having only performed at open mic nights and small gigs – auditioning on The Voice was Clara’s biggest gig yet – which has left her feeling ‘over the moon’.

She said: “I always get nervous before I perform but this was the first time where I could have bailed – all I could think about was hitting this one note and as soon as I realised I had done it I started to really enjoy it and no one had turned around for me anyway by this point.”

All four judges turned for the music student as she hit the very last notes of the song, Latch by Disclosure – which was half sang in Spanish.

The music student went against rapper, Shakira in the battle rounds on Saturday night (February 25). Picture: Rachel Joseph from ITV

The music student went against rapper, Shakira in the battle rounds on Saturday night (February 25). Picture: Rachel Joseph from ITV

She said: “It felt incredible as I was certain I hadn’t made it. I had Will in my mind too – it has been great working with him – I have never met anyone like him before.

“The closer I get in the show, I realise I do have as much of a chance as anyone else – I am over the moon.”

Clara, who works part-time at Caffè Nero in Haywards Heath, said the support from her family and friends has been ‘amazing’.

Her partner of six months, Ben Killick, 19, a first-year English student at the University of Southampton, said he is ‘amazed’ at how well Clara has handled the TV show.

The 20-year-old said she is feeling 'over the moon' after getting through to the third stage on the ITV talent show

The 20-year-old said she is feeling 'over the moon' after getting through to the third stage on the ITV talent show

He said: “She has taken it all in her stride so well, I am really proud and for her to be in the public eye already is an amazing achievement – she is effortless and has a huge exciting future ahead of her.”

Clara now faces the live knockouts, which is the third stage of the talent competition – after all four coaches assembled their teams over the weekend.

If successful, the music student will gain a spot in the live stage shows.

The 20-year-old has gained a lot of attention, especially from her native, Spain, who she says have ‘gone mad’.

She added: “It has been overwhelming and this madness has just happened from my first audition – I am not used to it at all and I am taking it one step at a time!”

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