By Tom Sharpe
SASSY singer Jade Hewitt put in a crisp vocal performance to bag a place in the next round of hit BBC TV series The Voice.
The 27-year-old employee of the Waleswood-based Yorkshire Crisp Company was the subject of a battle between new judge Rita Ora and Kaiser Chiefs star Ricky Wilson after both pledged their support as potential coaches in her bid for fame.
Chart diva Rita told Jade: “I love your grit — you’re so sexy. I love your confidence. Your energy is just cool.”
But rock frontman Ricky said: “You do have a very powerful voice. It’s like a cannonball.”
And Jade opted to stay true to her Yorkshire roots by opting for Leeds-based rocker Ricky.
Now she is back at work while preparing for April’s televised on-stage battles with his help.
An excited Jade, whose family hail from Thrybergh, said: “There were five auditions in Manchester and London before I even got in front of the judges and I never gave myself a prayer of getting through, so this is just amazing.
“I’m getting great support from Ricky and the team, everything from styling to work in the studio. I have to pinch myself.”
Jade, a Beyonce impersonator in her spare time, said that performing Gretchen Wilson’s I’m Here for the Party in front of Sir Tom Jones, Will.I.Am, Ricky and Rita was “mindblowing”.
She said: “The thing I was most worried about was walking down the clear perspex steps in my six-inch stilettos. Once I was on stage, the band didn’t play for about five seconds but it felt like an hour.
“When Rita turned around I felt like screaming, but I had to carry on. To know you’re through is amazing.”
Following her performance Jade enjoyed banter with the judges, even mentioning to Sir Tom that her grandfather shared his name.
She said: “You only get one chance like this and I thought I should enjoy it. When I’m nervous I start to ramble, but it was huge fun.”
Jade is now plying the team on The Voice with snacks from the Yorkshire Crisp Company and said: “Ricky likes his salt and vinegar.”
And after performing for corporate guests at the New York Stadium, before Rotherham United’s match against Championship leaders Bournemouth last Saturday, she is preparing to sing at Sheffield United’s upcoming Capital One Cup clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Bramall Lane.
Jade said that her mum was her biggest supporter, but the team at the Yorkshire Crisp Company were rooting for her too.
Sales director Tim Wheatley said: “We are very proud and thrilled for Jade. Who knows what it may bring for the future?”
To keep up with Jade’s progress in The Voice visit www.jadehewitt.co.uk or follow @JadeHewittMusic on Twitter.