…I-Finton wins battles stage in The Voice of Germany
MUTARE born German based Afro-pop and reggae sensation Finton ‘I-Finton’ Mumbure has progressed to the next stage of The Voice of Germany after he won the battle against Marc Gensior.
His triumph last Saturday became a double score after another Zimbabwean born United Kingdom based teenager, Blessing Chitapa won the 2020 edition of The Voice UK. The 18-year old Blessing was chosen as the victor by the programme’s virtual audience, who voted for her to win. Filming of The Voice UK returned to television screens in October following a seven-month break because of the coronavirus pandemic. Blessing grew up in Zimbabwe until the age of seven then moved to the UK in 2009. Now she is based in Dudley.
Just like I-Finton, as he is affectionately known by his followers in Zimbabwe, during his blind audition, The Voice UK coach Olly Murs became Blessing’s mentor after he was the only judge to turn his chair. She sang ‘I’d Rather go blind’ by Etta James and only Murs believed in her, which paid off as she became the overall winner, shrugging off stiff competition in the final from Jonny Brooks, who was coached by Sir Tom Jones, who has had more wins from previous editions.
For I-Finton, who sang ‘Redemption song’ by the late legendary Jamaican reggae icon Bob Marley, just after singing a few words, it was coach Mark Forster, who immediately rose from his seat in the first eight seconds and shouted ‘I love it.’ He is the same coach that chose him to progress in the battles stage. So maybe if fate has its ways, it will be a halcyon year for Zimbabwean born musicians in The Voice reality shows aired in different countries all-over the world.
The two join the bandwagon of Zimbabwean born musicians based in the diaspora to participate in the prominent television music reality show versions of The Voice, and all left unforgettable footprints in the history of the show. The 35 year old I-Finton and Blessing have followed in the same mould as Zimbabwean born Donel Mangena based in the United Kingdom who became the darling of 2018 edition of The Voice UK reaching all the way to the final and Brian Nhira the US-born Zimbabwean who reached the battle phase of The Voice US (United States) in 2016.
Finton was put to the test when he sang ‘Message In A Bottle’ a song by the old English rock band, The Police, which was a bit off his comfort zone of ‘hardcore’ reggae. He however rose to the occasion and nailed the battle with his charm and distinctive voice. Coach Foster could not hide his excitement during the parts sang by Finton just to show how good his recital was.
The coaches for the 10th edition of The Voice of Germany are Forster, Nico Santos and the duos of Yvonne Catterfeld and Stefanie Kloss as well as Samu Haber and Rea Garvey, whilst Michael Schulte took over as the comeback stage coach for this season. Since last year’s season, the music reality show added a brand new phase of the competition called The Voice: Comeback Stage by SEAT that is exclusive to The Voice of Germany. Schulte becomes the fifth coach who operates backstage that can save some singers that would have been rejected by the four main coaches.
The Voice series mostly consists of four phases, a blind audition, a battle phase, the knockouts sing offs and live performance shows. Four coaches, all noteworthy recording artists, choose teams of contestants through a blind audition process. If two or more judges want the same singer during blind auditions, the singer has the final choice of whom to choose as the coach.
In an interview with Easterntimeszim on Sunday I-Finton who was born and bred in the high density suburb (ghetto) of Dangamvura in the eastern border city of Mutare before relocating to Germany, said he is discovering himself deeper through The Voice of Germany experience.
“I am happy to have progressed to the sing offs. I have discovered myself deeper and I am seeing a lot of doors opening already. I feel like I have won already by making it this far and the rest will be a bonus,” he said.
He urged dreamers like him from the ghetto to never stop dreaming. “I just want to say don’t ever give up on your talent to all the backyard artistes back in Zimbabwe. I know the feeling and I never saw myself reaching where I am today. But by the grace of God, dedication and hard-work I am here. So believe in yourself and your dream.”
From 35 000 contestants who initially took part from all over Germany, not many made it through to the televised blind auditions. Only 40 go through after the battles stage, which means each coach selects 10 singers for the sing off knockouts. However from the 10, only two will be chosen for the live shows in each team, until only one winner is ultimately crowned.