Selkii’s real name is Jess Yallup, and the redhead from Durban made the Top 7 in season 6 of Idols SA! Then just 22, she’d studied music at UKZN and had been in the band Sea of Stars.
But in the nine years since she was eliminated, she’s certainly taken control of her music career, relocating to Florida and performing on Disney cruise lines. Using a guitar and loop pedal a la Jeremy Loops, she’s also available (and highly rated) for private functions.
To cap it all, she recently did a Blind Audition on NBC’s The Voice – and got turns from Adam Levine and Blake Shelton! In a YouTube clip leaked late last week, she is seen performing Macy Gray’s ‘I Try’ in her trademark style, which attracted some impressive comments.
“Your name is cool,” said Kelly Clarkson, to which the talent replied, “It actually means Seal, but Seal was taken!” “You’re so witty – I like you,” countered Kelly. “That’s a great song choice,” Adam proclaimed. “Then I see your whole vibe – I love what you do.” John Legend, a regular visitor to Mzansi, told her, “I’m so excited we have a South African here!”
Kelly wasn’t done. “Your style, by the way… You don’t sound like anyone on this show, so you’ve got that going for you in spades.” Then it was Blake’s turn. “I’m fascinated by you as an artist,” he said, after surmising that she was a country artist “in your country.” He continued: “You’re definitely the complete package.” He then reiterated that he’s won the show twice as many times as Adam!
It must have worked – last night she revealed that she’d chosen Blake!
Watch the clip for a glimpse of South Africa doing amazingly on the world stage, and for the incredible exchange between Selkii and Adam – it’s going to have a million views in days!