Niamh Noade’s Harp Audition On Abba Classic “The Winner Takes It All” Is Mesmerising

“The Winner Takes It All” is one of the finest pieces of songwriting ever produced by Abba, but you’ve never heard the hit like this before. 14-year-old Niamh Noade rearranged the classic ballad for a solo harp and vocal performance, which judge Ronan Keating called a showstopper, and his “favourite moment on The Voice Kids ever!” Niamh displayed a deft hand on the harp, creating a beautiful instrumental piece while her delicate voice sailed over the top.

Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus wrote the heartbreaking ballad about his divorce from his Abba bandmate Agnetha Fältskog, so it’s not an easy song for someone so young to channel. However, Niamh, who hails from Newry in Northern Ireland, really gave the song an emotional weight that seemed beyond her years. Keating was a true believer right from the start, turning his chair as soon as he heard Niamh sing the first line.

The other judges proved a tougher nut to crack for Niamh, however. Her strong performance really got the audience on her side though, and as she sang the final line, the crowd was all motioning for the other judges to turn their chairs. Team Niamh eventually won over judges Pixie Lott and Danny Jones, with only declining to turn.

After her performance, Niamh revealed to the judges that she had only been playing the harp for four years. Even more impressively, she said she had only begun “singing and playing the harp [together] during lockdown”, which was three years prior to her audition. Later in series seven of The Voice Kids, Niamh performed Birdy’s “People Help the People” in her signature style.

After Niamh’s blind audition, Keating explained why he was such a fan, saying, “It was just mesmerising. I had tears in my eyes. It was so moving, so beautiful. I am such a fan.” Lott commented next, saying, “The timing of your singing was so amazing. It was really special.” Lott indicated during her comments that she loved how the teen gave a push-pull timing to the lyrics, which accentuated certain words.
Keating, who hails from Dublin, then had a chummy conversation with Niamh about Irish instruments. Lott and Jones then tried to outdo him by proclaiming their own connections with the Emerald Isle, as the competition to get the talented lass on their teams heated up. Keating’s choice to turn first seems to have made an impression on Niamh, as she then picked the Irish star as her coach.

Check out more of Niamh Noade’s amazing vocal and harp performances on her Facebook page and Instagram profile.

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