Cassius Henry's relief at getting through to next round on The Voice
THE Voice hopeful Cassius Henry shrugged off illness to dazzle a TV audience of millions.
The R&B singer from South Norwood feared he would not get voted through to the next round of the BBC talent contest when he came down with a bout of laryngitis last week.
Yet despite his fears, the Croydon crooner made it through the public vote thanks to his soulful rendition of Coldplay hit Paradise.
"I was pretty nervous because I had been ill all week and my voice wasn't very strong," said Cassius.
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"I had to keep things simple and sing the song as best I could because of the laryngitis.
"It was an unpredictable song choice, and I don't think people were expecting it.
"I wasn't 100 per cent happy with how it went, because I wanted my voice to be stronger."
Cassius, 32, was the first name to be called by show host Holly Willoughby, as one of three acts mentored by chart star Jessie J to be voted straight through to the next live shows.
He said: "When they called my name I was just like 'wow'. It felt like a dream, everything went so quick.
"I was really happy to get through but it was also bittersweet, because everyone on the team is so close and one person had to go."
Cassius, a former South Norwood Primary School pupil, says he has already struck up a great bond with his mentor, ex-Brit School student Jessie.
He said: "Her comments on Saturday night really touched me. After I performed she said we had a mutual respect for one another and I get that.
"I really feel like I could be her friend. She's a great teacher; she lets us do our own thing and choose our own songs.
"We have a good vibe together."
Now that Cassius has got through the first round of live shows, he won't face the public vote for another two weeks.
Next week, the acts mentored by Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am and legendary singer Tom Jones will perform on the show, which sees singers vying for a record deal.
Instead, Cassius gets to enjoy his new-found celebrity status.
He said: "We've been invited to lots of parties and met a lot of cool people. I met Ricky Gervais and he was a really humble guy.
"But I don't want to get wrapped up in all that stuff, I want to concentrate on my singing and the competition and get as far as I can."