The Voice UK paid tribute to the late George Michael in the opening segment of Saturday night’s final.
The show’s four coaches – will.i.am, Sir Tom Jones, Jennifer Hudson and Gavin Rossdale – performed the pop superstar’s hit track Freedom days after he was laid to rest.
— The Voice UK (@thevoiceuk) April 1, 2017
The Freedom cover was widely appreciated on social media and was deemed an “amazing” tribute by many viewers.
— Maria (@Mia_Cluer) April 1, 2017
Great tribute on @thevoiceuk with the coaches singing George Michael Freedom. I could listen to Jenifer Hudson sing all day
— Johnny Seifert (@johnnyseifert) April 1, 2017
George died on Christmas Day at the age of 53 and his family confirmed that his funeral took place earlier this week.
Saturday night’s show is the first part of the ITV talent show’s final, as the four finalists – Michelle John, Mo Adeniran, Into The Ark and Jamie Miller – battle for victory.
First on stage was Team Hudson’s Jamie, who covered Justin Bieber’s What Do You Mean, with his performance compared to the Canadian pop star by will.i.am.
Meanwhile Sir Tom was labelled “rude” by viewers after telling the singer he would be great if he was “a bit better looking and could dance a bit” before appearing to imply he was joking.
Tom jones said if u were better looking and could dance u would be ok cheek of it coming from him face like a melted candle #howrude
— T j patterson (@Traceyjayp_) April 1, 2017
The Welsh singer’s sole act in the final, Into The Ark, performed Alicia Keys track No One.
Team will.i.am’s Michelle performed a tribute of her own as she covered the late Prince’s Purple Rain for her first performance, while favourite to win the competition Mo sang a slowed-down version of Swedish House Mafia’s Don’t You Worry Child.
The final will also see the contestants and their coaches perform duets, aside from Gavin as none of his acts have made it through to the end of the series.
One act will leave the competition on Saturday’s show, with the final three going through to Sunday to perform their song of the series.