A Catholic schoolgirl from Swansea has had her “dream come true” after being crowned the winner of talent show The Voice Kids.
Justine Afante, a pupil at Bishop Vaughan Catholic School in Swansea, sealed her victory over the weekend, winning the top prize of a £30,000 bursary towards her musical education and a dream family getaway to Orlando, Florida.
The 13-year old wowed judges Paloma Faith, will.i.am, Pixie Lott and Danny Jones with her stunning rendition of Beyonce’s Listen during the grand final of the fourth series, which was filmed with a virtual audience due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Miss Afante, whose family are originally from the Philippines but now live in Swansea, said the show had given her a “new ambition”.
“I want to do more singing and probably make a career out of it,” she told ITV. “But I think singing in The Voice Kids UK has been a dream come true – and I don’t want it to stop.”
Speaking of the moment she heard host Emma Willis announce her as the winner, Miss Afante, who was mentored on the show by Pixie Lott, told WalesOnline: “It’s absolutely amazing. I was really surprised when I heard my name because I had seen all the others perform too and everybody was so talented. I would have been so happy to get to the finals even if I didn’t win, but I’m really lucky I won.”
Miss Afante, who performed at Swansea’s 50th anniversary celebrations last year, said she is “so lucky” to have had so much support from her home city.
“To know that there are so many people who are supporting you and cheering you on is amazing.”
Following Ms Afante’s victory, Bishop Vaughan Catholic School congratulated the youngster and couldn’t contain its excitement.
‘Justine did it. SHE IS THE VOICE. Well done Justine the @Bishop_Vaughan community is so so proud of you,’ read a tweet on the school’s Twitter page.
In the lead-up to the final, Emma Pole, head teacher at Bishop Vaughan, paid tribute to Ms Afante, describing her as “a delightful young lady”.
“Anyone who has been lucky enough to hear Justine sing will know she is quite simply remarkable,” she added.
Competing alongside Team Pixie’s Ms Afante were finalists George Elliot, of Team Danny; Victoria Alsina, of Team will.i.am; and Dara McNicholl, of Team Paloma.Picture: The Voice Kids winner Justine Afante and her mentor Pixie Lott celebrate. (ITV Plc).