Richard's #TheVoiceSA journey

23 May 2016
We track the course of our inaugural The Voice South Africa winner!

In his Blind Audition, aired on Valentine’s Day, Richard performed Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” and had all four coaches pressing their buttons – and giving him a standing ovation. Kahn turned first but Lira was perplexed.

“Really? Really? You did not think you were that good?” she asked. “If you sent that to Bon Iver he’d quit,” Kahn quipped, and Karen likened him to Superman. All agreed he was going to the top and many of you on social media had him pegged as the winner from the start!

After Kahn had told Richard that he’d inspired him to want to be a better singer and that he’d teach him how to win this competition, Richard was on #TeamKahn - and on his way!

Richard didn’t have it easy in the Battles: Kahn pitted him against the formidable James Freedom. Bobby likened their take on James Bay’s “Hold Back The River” to watching tennis, with the back and forth.

In the first live show, Richard got Kahn’s save with his unusual, downbeat take on The Proclaimers’ classic “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”. Again he got a standing ovation from all four coaches. Again he was tipped as the winner on social media. Kahn told him he was a “superstar” and called it: “I’m gonna put my neck on the line and say you are probably the first winner of The Voice South Africa”.

Richard’s song choice in the third live show was again an interesting one: Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child”, and his performance earned him Kahn’s save. Karen said that while there were a few wobbles, “I love Richard Stirton”.

In our Mother’s Day live show, Richard got Kahn’s final save of the season with his rendition of Mumford & Sons’ “I Will Wait”. Karen admired both his growl and his falsetto, and Kahn reiterated his earlier sentiments: that Richard would win The Voice SA.

Then came the performance that might have sealed the deal. Richard’s version of the Disturbed version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” raced to the top of the iTunes chart by Monday morning, and landed him at number two on 947/KFM’s Top 40. Behind Karen Zoid.

The votes accumulated on the back of this performance lead to Richard being crowned the winner of the very first The Voice South Africa. Congrats to him and a very confident coach Kahn, who called it weeks ago!

JoinThe Voice SA conversation on “The Voice SA” Facebook page, via Twitter on @VoiceSA and @VoiceSA on Instagram using #TheVoiceSA, #TeamBobby, #TeamLira, #TeamKahn and #TeamKaren hashtags. The Voice South Africa was produced for M-Net by AMPN and sponsored by Dialdirect.