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Two friends compete against each other on The Voice

Olly Murs (Ian West/PA)
Olly Murs (Ian West/PA)

Two best friends competed against each other on The Voice, but only one made it through to the next round.

Esther Cole and Yana Bing, both 21, performed for the judges separately on Saturday night’s blind audition show.

First on stage was Bing, who sang an upbeat version of Lady Gaga’s disco hit Stupid Love, but she failed to convince the judges and not one turned their chair.

Cole was next up with an emotional rendition of Let Me Down Slowly by Alec Benjamin.

She had more success and prompted both Sir Tom Jones and Olly Murs to hit their buttons and turn their chairs, with Sir Tom describing her voice as “beautiful”.

Asked by Murs whether she had come to the audition alone, she revealed her closest friend had auditioned right before her.

“My best friend is Yana who you didn’t turn for sadly. You should have turned for her,” she said.

Anne-Marie new voice coach
Anne-Marie joined the show as a coach this series (Lia Toby/PA) added: “She has a good voice, right? If you swear by her, she sings great, she probably sounds awesome because you sound awesome.”

Murs added: “She needs to come back, which is what we are trying to say.”

After considering both options, Cole chose to join Murs’ team as Bing cheered her on from off-stage.

The episode also saw Anne-Marie select a singer for her team who has found fame on TikTok.

The pop star, who replaced Meghan Trainor as a coach this series, was also surprised over video call by her sister and one-year-old nephew.

West End star Matt Croke was also among the hopefuls looking to impress the judges and won a place on Murs’ team.

The actor, who played the title role of Disney’s Aladdin at the Prince Edward Theatre, performed Come What May from Moulin Rouge during his blind audition.

The winner of the show, hosted by Emma Willis, will be given a recording contract with Universal’s label UMOD.

This year, the show now includes a new format twist called The Block, which offers the four coaches an opportunity to stop a fellow coach from adding a singer to their team.

During the blind auditions, each coach will have one chance to use their “Block” button in an attempt to secure the best team possible – and ultimately weaken the chances of the other coaches.

The Voice continues on ITV on Saturdays at 8.30pm.

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