By Ann Casey
Two Meath singers have already made it through the blind auditions of RTE's 'The Voice of Ireland' talent show.
Eighteen year-old Bob McQuaid from Dunboyne wowed the judges in last Sunday's show and had his pick of Sharon Kerr and Kian Egan as his mentor.
The previous Sunday, Ben Tighe, who is originally from Batterstown but who now lives in Maynooth, was picked by an extremely impressed Jamelia, to go through to the next round.
Bob McQuaid, who is a student of actuarial studies in DCU, sang Van Morrison's 'You Don't Know Me.' He has what has been described as a Michael Bublé type of voice which makes him sound a lot older than he is.
After his performance, Sharon Corr said she had "melted" and told Bob: "I'm totally in love." Kian Egan told him it was a flawless performance, he had a flawless voice and he could win the competition.
Bob opted to take Sharon as his mentor.
A son of Martin and Mary McQuaid and a former student of St Peter's College, Dunboyne, where he performed in a number of musicals, he has been performing in theatre and shows since he was 10, taking part in pantos in Blanchardstown and Ballymun and recently started doing gigs around Dublin.
Along with his brother, Conor, he entered Meath's Got Talent at The Venue Theatre in Ratoath and they came fourth in that competition. His parents have played in the band, 'Rereleased' for over 20 years.
Ben Tighe, who is originally from Batterstown, performed the previous week.
He sang his own version of the Katy Perry song 'California Girl', which caused Jamelia to turn around in just 10 seconds.
"I was delighted, over the moon," he said this week.
Ben, who has been playing piano since he was four years-old, won 'Escort of the Year' at the Rose of Tralee in 2009.
"Years ago, I used to do a few gigs and competitions around Meath, but I hadn't really been performing for a long time, but at the Rose of Tralee, the music came out again," he said.
Ben now lives in Maynooth and is a self-employed sales representative for a plumbing company. He would like a full-time career in music if something lucrative came out of the competition, he said.
In the first week after his appearance on the show, he received 8,000 hits on YouTube.