A judo player who once represented Great Britain in the European Youth Olympic Festival impressed Kylie Minogue with “his moves” and made former frontman of global superband The Kaiser Chiefs turn around as he sang on The Voice during blind auditions on Saturday.
Max Murphy, of Glasgow, appeared in front of a tv audience of over 10 million singing his own version of MGMT’s “Electric Feel” and playing his own acoustics.
The 18-year-old who represented Great Britain in judo at the European Youth Olympic Festival, but in his spare time he writes his own material and sings and plays gigs around Glasgow. His aunty secretly entered him and made the cut to become one of 48 chosen at the blind auditions from the 50,000 who tried their luck nationwide.
He hopes the Voice will take him far in the musical world, but if that doesn’t go in his favour, he can always fall back on his judo.
He was the UK’s No1 under-17 in the under 73kg category who took part in the 2011 Youth Olympics and he still wants to take part in 2016’s Brazil Olympics.
But he has another talent too. On the advice of Kylie, Ricky Wilson turned his chair and Max was chosen as one of the Kaiser Chief lead singers’ 12 acts.
The feedback from the judges was positive.
“That was hot,” said Kylie.
“Come over here, I need to see you in the light.”
She added. “I can do a forward roll,” when he told her he had represented British Judo as a Cadet and as a Junior.
The pop princess assured Max that he was in “safe hands with Ricky.”
Welsh crooner Tom Jones added: “I liked it but it didn’t hit me hard. I love boxing and judo. I love physical one on one things. I’m sure he can hit me hard with judo. The only sort of fighting I know is street fighting, see I wasn’t born with this nose.
“But I love judo and all physical one-on-one things… ”
And Will summed it all up saying it was indeed ‘Ju-dope’.
Pushing the button, Ricky added: “I think I made the right decison on this one. You’re joining my team and you get to pick the songs you want to sing.”
Speaking about the experience, Max said: “I was very nervous coming up to auditions but when the nerves settled down I really enjoyed it.”
On not only meeting his idols, but singing in front of them, Max said: “I really like The Kaiser Chiefs, so meeting Ricky was great. Later we had a chat and I got to tell him all about judo. He asked me how it felt to represent Great Britain at the European Youth Olympic Games.
“I was honoured to meet Tom Jones, WillIAm, Ricky and Kylie.
“It still seems surreal. “You see them on the tv and in the papers but to meet them in real life is really something else.I became more and more confident as I went on and overall I found it a great experience.
“Kylie is a pop icon and she was really lovely.”
The tv crew travelled up to Max’s native Glasgow, which will also be the home of the Commonwealth Games this summer and the Judo European Open for women later this year.
Some of the filming focused around training at the Palace of Arts and features interviews with his Scottish coaches Gary Edwards and Brian Long.
“I am back in training and judo is such a big part of my life,” said Max. “The sport has shaped me physically and mentally and it really has made me become the person I am today.”
“They were really interested in my judo and I am happy to be an ambassador for our sport. Millions will be watching on Saturday night and it is a great chance to showcase judo.”
The former British Boys gold medalist missed out on being in the official squad this year, due to commitments to filming and performing. my judo and I am happy to be an ambassador for our sport. Millions will be watching on Saturday night and it is a great chance to showcase judo.”
But he says that judo is in his blood and no matter where The Voice takes him, he will continue to perform on the mat as well as on the stage.
He said: “I competed in the Youth Olympics in Turkey in 2011 and my dream for a long time has been Olympic gold.
Watch the Voice next week and see how he gets on.“But The Voice could give me the platform to have a music career. I am going to give it a year and if nothing happens I will go back to judo.”
Watch the judges reactions from behind the chair here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmDqEyyc4ek
And follow Max next week on the show.
Within two hours of the show, max’s Twitter page Maxmurphymusic gained almost 2,000 followers, after starting with four fans earlier in the day.
Words by Donna Richardson. Images BBC and British Judo.