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The Voice finalist Jermain receives hero’s welcome in Dalston

PUBLISHED: 12:59 02 April 2014 | UPDATED: 12:59 02 April 2014

Jermain's family and friends turn out in their scores to wish him all the best. Photo Dieter Perry

Jermain's family and friends turn out in their scores to wish him all the best. Photo Dieter Perry

Dieter Perry

Jermain Jackman was given a superstar’s homecoming welcome on Monday night, as scores of his friends and family turned out to wish him all the best when he sings in the final of The Voice this Saturday night.

BBC film crews recorded the reaction of the 19-year-old “singing politician” as he walked into Dalston’s Trinity Church Hall amid deafening chants of “We want Jermain” and “Jermain is the Voice”.

The footage will be screened on the live final show this Saturday, when Jermain goes head to head with the three other finalists in the BBC primetime television series.

He went around the room hugging well-wishers including his mother, grandmother, twin sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends from primary and secondary school, who haven’t seen him in the past three weeks since he entered the “boot camp” of the BBC show, where he is being mentored by rapper will.i.am.

Proud mum

His proud mum, Helen, who will be in the studio audience on Saturday night, told the Gazette she was feeling excited.

“It’s amazing. You only dream about these things,” she said.

“Everyone was saying to me he’s going to go through but I’m so nervous, I was more nervous than Jermain actually”

“We’re all proud of Jermain, all of us, he’s focused, he’s humble, he’s grounded and I think those things will take him far.

“It’s hard to explain how I feel and I don’t want to go on and on because then I become tearful.”

She recounted how her son had always been singing, ever since he was a child.

“I used to shout at Jermain, “Please be quiet”,” she laughed.

“I always think Jermain was special because he was born by his feet, it’s unusual when children are born by their feet, initially I put him into tap dancing because I though if you are born with your feet you are blessed, but after the first show at the Hackney Empire he said to me, “Mum I don’t want to do this anymore, I’m the only boy in the class,” and so I took him out and he started singing.

“I just think Jermain has a God gifted voice. He was born with that gift.”

His uncle, Lennox Constantine, said: “I’m getting goose bumps, that’s how I feel, I’m feeling number one.”

“We’ve been with Jermain since he was born. He had this talent in him since he was six. He came to Sunday school and he was always singing and entertaining people. As a family, we used to say, ‘Why don’t you be quiet?’ We thought he was hyperactive.”

Everyone in the room was keen to chip in with their own memories of Jermain.

Family friend Ina Daniel said: “We’ve all watched him grow up singing. We are all so proud. As Tom Jones says, just to go down and come up like that, at that age, it’s amazing.”

The founder of De Beauvoir’s The Crib youth club, Jennette Collins, said Jermain’s success so far had helped young people realise that dreams can come true.

“It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We at The Crib love Jermain. We’ll all be watching somewhere together on Saturday.

“He’s a natural star, he’s a natural person, he’s very humble and loyal to his people as well, he still comes back and helps us all the time, he’s got the support of the community.”

Last Saturday, Jermain sang Without You by Usher and David Guetta, and made it through to the finals having secured more public votes than his fellow Team Will contestant Sophie-May Williams.

This week he will be competing against Sally Barker, Christina Marie Wickens and Jamie Johnson to be named this year’s winner of The Voice.

See tomorrow’s paper for more photos.

n The show starts at 7pm on Saturday on BBC One.


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