RUTI Olajugbagbea an 18-year-old contestant, who was mentored by Sir Tom Jones on the ITV show, The Voice, triumphed during Saturday’s final, which saw her pip 16-year-old Donel Mangena to the crown.
Speaking after her win, she said: “I wasn’t expecting it to be so soon. I didn’t expect to get to the blind auditions; I didn’t expect anyone to turn. I don’t know what to say. Thank you Tom.”
And Donel was equally pleased, despite coming runner up.
He told host Emma Willis: “Thank you so much. I’ve loved every second of it. To have come runner up, it’s amazing. Working with will.i.am has been my highlight. I’m so happy, as happy as Ruti.”
To secure her winning position, Ruti duetted with Tom for a beautiful version of Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World as well as belting out Daniel Bedingfield’s If You’re Not the One, showing off her new found confidence.
Meanwhile, Donel wowed the judges, the studio audience and the public at home with an amazing rendition of Major Lazer, Justin Bieber and MØ’s Cold Water — his song of the series — and he was even joined on stage by his grandmother, Nita, who has danced her way through the competition, supporting grandson Donel at every turn.
The teenager also impressed with DJ Snake and Justin Bieber’s Let Me Love You, before being joined on stage by his mentor will.i.am for their performance of OMG.
Earlier in the evening, operatic duo Belle Voci — which is made up of Emily and Sophie — performed a stunning rendition of My Heart Will Go On with their mentor Jennifer Hudson, while Olly Murs took to the stage to duet with Lauren Bannon.
Ruti’s version of Dreams is available to download and be streamed right now and the 18-year-old has also bagged herself a record contract with Polydor Records.