THE Voice hopeful Jimmy Balito says fellow Sussex contestant Cedric Neal will be “tough competition” if he gets through tonight.

Jimmy, from Pulborough, has already secured a place in the semi finals of the ITV talent show.

He is in Olly Murs team.

Cedric, who lives in Patcham Windmill in Brighton, will be battling it out tonight in his bid to get through to the semis.

He is in Sir Tom Jones’s team.

Singer songwriter Jimmy, 23, said: “Cedric is an absolutely wonderful guy and a phenomenal singer.

“I can’t speak highly enough of him. He would be tough competition.”

Jimmy, who is the youngest out of seven children, told The Argus how his musical career started.

He said: “My family and I lived in Middlesbrough before. My parents were churchgoers and I was in the children’s group where I listened a lot to the choir.

“At school I did drama and I really enjoyed performing.”

The family moved to Chichester where Jimmy joined the choir at Chichester Cathedral and spent 25 hours a week singing.

The talented musician then gained a scholarship to Worth School in Crawley.

He said: “I spent much of my time on music. I’ve had classical training and I taught myself guitar and piano at 15 by watching YouTube. I left Worth School at 16 and went to BIMM [music college] in Brighton. My journey into music started in the city. I used the opportunity to network and develop my career.”

Last year Jimmy failed to get through The Voice auditions.

Despite the setback, he returned this year and sang Higher Love by Steve Winwood and was chosen to be a member of Sir Tom Jones’s team.

In the knockout rounds last month, fans thought they were about to wave goodbye to him until he was saved by rival coach Olly Murs.

He said: “In 2018 I came from a different place. I was in a band and I wanted to sing solo. I wanted The Voice to be a debut for my solo career yet I wasn’t sure where I wanted to be next.

“It was crushing that I didn’t get through but I decided this year would be my calling.

“I went to gigs, performances and I wrote my own songs to motivate myself. This year I was completely ready for it and I know where I am heading. In the next five years, I hope to have major hits in the charts and perform at big shows.”

The Voice UK continues tonight at 8pm when Cedric will be performing.

Jimmy will be on again next week.