WATCH: Bray's Aishling Mae hits the right notes as she performs on the Voice Kids UK –

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Aishling Mae Bontoyan during her audition for the Voice Kids 2021. Photo: ITV/YouTube.
Eimear Dodd

A Bray teenager wowed TV audiences after making the final of a prestigious singing competition.
Aishling Mae Bontoyan from Bray took part in ‘The Voice Kids 2021’ competition, which aired on ITV and Virgin Media One over the festive season.
The talented teen sang the Wham classic ‘Last Christmas’ during the final, but Torrin from Oxfordshire was named the winner of the 2021 competition.

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Aishling Mae travelled to London to take part in the show earlier in the year, accompanied by her proud Dad Alan.
Speaking via Zoom with her Dad present,  Aishling Mae said “It was such a fun experience. I met so many new people and made very talented friends.”
Aishling Mae (15) is a student at Loreto Secondary School in Bray. 
She decided to audition for the singing show for the second time after her previous attempt in 2020 was unsuccessful.
“I tried again this year because I was determined to show I could do it,” she said.
The show was filmed in early 2021 and Aishling Mae said it was a challenge to keep the secret. 
“I think I only told two or three people, who are my closest friends. It was difficult as I kept missing classes around that time. My teachers would be asking me on Zoom where I was but I couldn’t say anything at all.
“I couldn’t say I was in London doing the Voice Kids, but now it’s out and they finally understand.”
Aishling Mae performed ‘Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ during the auditions. Coach Danny Jones of pop band McFly selected her to join his team. 
“I was so relieved and really happy. I know in the past few years, he’s a really good coach to the kids so I’m glad he turned for me.
“He was really good. Although he is super fun on TV, he gets work done and is super focused.”
In the final, the Bray girl also sang the Beatles ‘Blackbird’ alongside the other contestants coached by the McFly singer. Aishling Mae was then selected as one of the final four. She said she was nervous during the filming. 
“I remember going on the stage feeling so shaky and nervous and once I started singing, I felt okay”.
Dad Alan added: “I feel very proud of Aishling. She’s been singing since she was three or four. It’s a dream come true for her.”
While she did not scoop the top prize, Aishling won a trip to EuroDisney alongside her fellow finalists.
“Although I didn’t win on the day, I felt like a winner singing on that stage,” she said.
Aishling Mae has been singing all her life and hopes to continue to perform in the future. 
She has lots of ambitions for the future which include holding an event to raise funds for those affected by Typhoon Rai, which hit the Philippines in December. 
Aishling Mae has family members living near the areas hit by the storm. 
She also hopes to release her debut single in the coming months.

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