It feels like a tor­nado hit me, says The Voice’s Craig Lu­cas

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MARVIN CHARLES

CRAIG LU­CAS plans to have a spe­cial thank you for his home­town of Elsies River for vot­ing for him.

He was an­nounced the win­ner of the se­cond sea­son of The Voice South Africa, broad­cast live on M-Net and M-Net City from Joburg. Lu­cas re­ceived more than 1.6 mil­lion votes, an all-time record for the show. The ec­static 24-yearold could not con­trol the tears when he was crowned the win­ner.

Dur­ing each round of the com­pe­ti­tion, Lu­cas blew the au­di­ence away with his unique style of singing pop­u­lar songs.

“It hon­estly feels like a tor­nado hit me,” Lu­cas said in a phone in­ter­view from Joburg yes­ter­day.

Lu­cas, a grad­u­ate in eco­nom­ics and pol­i­tics at UCT, was born in Elsies River, and be­came in­volved with The Voice af­ter his friends per­suaded him to au­di­tion for the se­cond sea­son of the show.

“I’ve al­ways been a re­ally big fan of the com­pe­ti­tion. I be­lieve it’s much more than an em­pow­er­ment show. It doesn’t break down your tal­ent.”

Lu­cas said that with­out the com­mu­nity of Elsies River, he wouldn’t have come this far.

“Do­ing some­thing spe­cial for all of them is my way to say thank you,” he said.

His fam­ily, in­clud­ing his mother Jenny, were present at the live show.

“I am so proud of him, I still haven’t di­gested the news,” she said, adding that at first she hadn’t been aware that he had en­tered the com­pe­ti­tion.

“I didn’t even know he’d en­tered. Only af­ter the blind au­di­tions oc­curred did he tell me, ‘Mommy, I made it through’,” she said.

The show’s seven fi­nal­ists had the op­por­tu­nity to col­lab­o­rate with lo­cal stars such as Heart­box­ing hit­maker Jimmy Ne­vis, Nianell and Na­dine.

Lu­cas fol­lows in the foot­steps of last year’s win­ner, Richard Stir­ton.

For the first time in the show’s his­tory, the fi­nale was con­tested by seven per­form­ers. This comes af­ter de­plorable vot­ing tac­tics that re­sulted in the re­turn of two con­tes­tants.

Ear­lier in the com­pe­ti­tion, M-Net had been alerted to al­leged paid-for mar­ket­ing ef­forts on some per­form­ers’ per­sonal so­cial me­dia ac­counts. Paid-for mar­ket­ing is against the rules of the com­pe­ti­tion.

M-Net said that in the in­ter­est of trans­parency, it would dis­close the vot­ing fig­ures from the grand fi­nale this week.

I’ve al­ways been a big fan of the com­pe­ti­tion

PIC­TURE: TRACEY ADAMS

THRILLED FANS: Craig Lu­cas wins The Voice SA, to the joy of his sup­port­ers.

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