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Ready or not?

Mayo singer Chantelle Padden told David Hennessy about her painful recent exit from the Voice, why she feels cheated by Olly’s decision and wishes she had chosen Will.I.Am.

Last Saturday night viewers saw 24-year-old Chantelle Padden from Belmullet, Co. Mayo eliminated from The Voice at the battles stage.

Chantelle was pitted against teenager Grace Holden to sing Kelly Clarkson’s Breakaway with their places on Team Olly at stake.

Chantelle wowed the judges in her blind audition broadcast only weeks ago when both Will.I.Am and Olly turned for her with Chantelle choosing Olly.

After snatching Chantelle for his team, a jubilant Olly took to social media to say he could see Chantelle’s vocal talents taking him to a third successive series win.

However, Chantelle’s fans were shocked on Saturday night to see Olly decide to eliminate Chantelle citing some of the same reasons he chose her in the first place, saying that she was ready, knew who she was and did not need coaching.

Feeling disappointed and a little cheated, Chantelle told The Irish World: “It was a tough pill to swallow.


“Obviously I was so grateful for the platform that the Voice gave me because I have gained so many followers and the support has been absolutely amazing.

“But just thinking back to everything that the coaches said and Olly said in my blind audition, the feedback was absolutley amazing, and the video that Olly put up then where he was saying, ‘I can see a third title coming’.

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“Then, the same reason why he turned for me was the same reason why he didn’t put me through in the battles, because he thought I was ready.

“What he said just didn’t really make sense. I respect him for turning for me. I’m just disheartened that I was underestimated, that they didn’t see that I had potential to do so much more and grow.

“I hold a lot of respect for Olly.

“I don’t know why he felt I didn’t need the platform of the show. I don’t know what was going through Olly’s head.

Chantelle in her battle with Grace.

“I’m not a sore loser.

“I just feel my time was cut too short. I felt like I had so much more to give and it was tough.

“Not that I regret doing the show, I am delighted I went for the show because it’s gotten my name out there.”

But does Chantelle have other regrets like perhaps choosing Olly as her coach? “I’m not going to lie. Obviously I was absolutely thrilled that he turned for me but one thought that went through my head was, ‘Everything Olly said to me in my blind audition he’s now telling me that’s why he wasn’t putting through. I just felt, ‘Was everything a lie?’

“Fair enough, I’ve been put out. Olly made his decision.

“I totally respect it’s their decision but why turn for me in the blinds if they felt they couldn’t bring anything coaching-wise to me?


“The rest of the coaches gave absolutely amazing feedback.

“As I was walking off Will.I.Am stood up and said, ‘Chantelle, I think you’re amazing’. And I was like, ‘I wish I went with you now’.

“It was really difficult for me.

“I couldn’t really make much sense of it at the time and I’m still trying. It is still quite raw because I sacrificed so much. I moved over to the UK and I wasn’t able to travel over and back because of Covid. I didn’t see my family for months.”

Chantelle has been overwhelmed by the support that has come her way in recent weeks and when she heard the devastating news, she fought back tears. She thought she had let people down.

“I was like, ‘I’m ready, put me through. I don’t want to have to go back home as a failure again’.

“I held it together. I could feel the lump in my throat coming and I remember I was like, ‘Please, please, please. I don’t wanna cry. Hold it together, Chantelle’.

The singers, with presenter Emma Willis in between them, wait for Olly’s decision.

“But when I got down off the stage, I just broke. Every other failure moment for me, it all started coming back to me and I was just kind of, ‘When am I ever going to get the break that I’ve worked so hard for? When is my luck going to change? What am I doing wrong?’

“I don’t know, maybe it’s the Mayo curse rubbing off on me,” she laughs.

Eighteen-year-old Grace Holden from Essex progressed at Chantelle’s expense.

“Part of me was delighted for her as well because we all go into these competitions for the same dream.

“Grace was so nice to get to know. We were holding onto the fact that whoever doesn’t get through has the chance of a seat. We were actually supposed to be on last Saturday’s show but then we were changed. Then we were made aware there was no steals left so it was very tough. I tried to just handle it the best I could.

“I’ve been kicking and screaming at doors for years since I was eleven years old. The knocks and setbacks I’ve had I just kept thinking, ‘I just hope that for once I have a bit of luck’. But unfortunately it didn’t go my way.

“I was very, very disheartened that I was one step closer to finally getting what I’ve worked so hard for for years and then for it to be just ripped away, it was very tough.

“I’m 24, I’m not old but I don’t want to miss my window.”

Chantelle in her blind audition.

Chantelle told us in a recent interview how being rejected as a teenager for not having the right ‘image’ took a toll on her self-esteem. She has been overwhelmed by the huge support that came her way as the only Irish contestant on this year’s show.

“I wasn’t expecting the response I got. That overweight, very self-conscious young girl still lives in me and I was doing it for her and everyone that’s ever believed in me. I wanted to give them a reason to keep believing in me

“You know when you go on a show like this there’s always the risk of being trolled. I have yet to come across a bad comment.”

Chantelle got an early start in the business performing with her grandad Tony Cawley and she was the youngest to ever perform at the Galtymore, playing the Cricklewood venue at the age of 12. She has also had similar disappointment on TG4’s reality singing competition Glór Tíre.

Chantelle was filmed giving her proud grandad the good news after her blind audition. She was straight on the phone to him after her battles disappointment.

“I remember talking to Grandad after the battle. He was very upset, disheartened and gutted for me because he knows how much I want this.

“He knows how much courage it took for me to get back up into a competition environment. My track record with competitions is not great, I never have any luck.

“He commended me for plucking up the courage to go and do something like that again. He knew that I needed it. He knew that I knew that I needed it.

“My grandad was like, ‘They don’t know what they’re missing. They obviously don’t see in you what I see in you’.”
Chantelle will not be beaten by this latest disappointment.

“I tried my best to show them some potential but I hope it will still open a few doors.

“I’m ready for the next step now and I’m just gutted that the Voice UK didn’t see that in me.

“I’ve always said, God loves a trier. Hopefully my luck will change.

“I’ll continue to keep to work on myself, work on my music.

“It’s always been singing that I’ve wanted to do. I would never be able to give up on something that I have a massive passion for. It’s the reason why I wake up in the morning. From the minute I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep at night, I’m singing. I have everyone’s heads wrecked here in the house. I’m always screeching away.”

The Voice continues on ITV on Saturday nights, also on ITV Hub.

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