Jimmy Balito: ‘I thought about quitting The Voice UK after dad died’

Jimmy Balito The Voice UK semis
(Image credit: ITV)

The Voice UK contestant Jimmy Balito has revealed how he almost didn't make it to Saturday night's live semi-final...

The Voice UK semi-finalist Jimmy Balito has admitted he almost quit when he father died during the competition.

Jimmy brought the house down and reduced mentor Olly Murs to tears at the Knockouts stage of the competition two weeks ago with an emotional rendition of Radiohead’s High & Dry – and it was revealed that the performance came just days after the death of his father.

Mentor Olly rewarded Jimmy’s bravery with a spot in the live semi-finals, which take place on Saturday night.

Talking about the response he’s had since his Knockout performance was aired, Jimmy told whatsontv.co.uk: “It’s been amazing. The amount of people sending their condolences and saying to me they loved the way I dealt with it and talked about it and I’ve had so many messages coming from people going through the same thing.

“I’ve got this crazy following now and it’s all from awesome people who have connected with me on that level.”

Jimmy singing heart out knockouts

There wasn't a dry eye in the house at the Knockouts as Jimmy sang Radiohead's High & Dry

When asked if he’d ever seriously considered quitting following his dad’s death, Jimmy admitted:

“Yes, 100 per cent. I think it was 50/50 for quite a while. You think: ‘Is it appropriate that I’m on here? Can they help me and be supportive enough?' I know I’m a sensitive, fragile young man, that’s why I’m the sort of artist that I am.”

Jimmy was quick to commend producers on The Voice UK for their support during such a difficult time, saying: "The welfare team on this show are second to none.

“Even when I got booted off the show last year in the first round, I still got a call one, two, three weeks after checking if I’m alright. Asking if I’m dealing with it well, what am I doing, am I trying to push myself forward. The check-ups are rigorous.

“The welfare team and Olly giving me the time and making me feel like I’m really needed on the show means I know I can go on further from this now and really push myself. That’s the reason I’m still here. I felt this isn’t the time to be closed off. I’ve got a real opportunity.”

On Saturday night, Jimmy will join the other eight semi-finalists – including his Team Olly rival Molly Hocking and the public’s lifeline vote - who’ll all be singing their hearts out for just four places in the grand final.

The Voice: Semi-Finals can be seen on Saturday March 30 at 8pm on ITV.

Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!