Raise Voices for our Matt

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A HARTLEPUDLIAN is getting set to wow audiences on an overseas version of a hugely popular TV talent show.

Online viewers have already seen Matt Heanes impress judges on The Voice of Holland, the forerunner to BBC1’s The Voice.

The 32-year-old performed a rendition of Marvin Gaye’s Heard It Through The Grapevine during a “blind audition” before Dutch artist Trijntje Oosterhuis decided to show her interest in mentoring Matt by spinning her chair around to face him.

In a twist that could be incorporated into the British version, Matt was hidden behind a screen, so even the audience members could not tell who was singing.

Matt, who is already established as a songwriter overerseas, penning tracks for big Dutch and Asian artists, but has been encouraged to sing in his own right, said: “It was the most terrifying thing I have ever done.

“It makes good TV that the audience can’t see you, and you can’t gauge their reaction.

“But anything from this point on is a bonus.”

Thousands auditioned and were whittled down to 200 for the blind auditions and Matt has made it into the final 32.

He is part of a team of eight being mentored by Trijnte and if he gets through the next few rounds over the coming weeks, he could be in with a chance of winning a recording contract.

But even if he doesn’t get through, former High Tunstall and Hartlepool Sixth Form student Matt, who has lived in London for 10 years, said: “There’s no negative of this – it raises my profile.”

Matt is trying to drum up support back home and people can vote for him by visiting his twitter page @MattHeanes.

He is next due to appear on The Voice of Holland on November 22.

Oline users will be able to watch Matt’s performance at www.rtl.nl/experience/rtl4