West Norwood singing sensation Ruth Brown said her performance on a BBC talent show this weekend “didn’t go to plan” despite nearly moving pop legend Sir Tom Jones to tears.

Ruth Brown, 20, told her 21,000 Twitter followers she needed “to work on diction and nerves” despite sailing into the semi-finals of The Voice with her emotional rendition of Emili Sande's heartbreaker Next To Me.

She said: “Ok I admit last night’s performance didn't go to plan. I’ve read your comments - I need to work on diction and nerves but I wasn't shouting.”

But her mentor Sir Tom Jones was left “choked up” by the modest songstress’ performance, adding that she had “something special”.

She is now the bookies' favourite to win the contest at odds of 5/2, narrowly ahead of former Wandsworth teacher Jaz Ellington.

Jones said: “I've sang duets with a lot of people and I've heard some amazing voices throughout my career but this girl has got something special I've never heard before in my life.

“When I hear Ruth sing I get choked up.”

Black Eyed Peas singer Will.I.Am added: “You sing incredible. Each time you perform again you get better and better and better.

“You don't need explosions behind you but if you put some missiles and stuff coming out, that would just be out of this world.”

The remaining sixteen contestants were told one act belonging to each of the four judges - which also includes The Script's Danny O'Donoghue and singer Jessie J - would be put through by the public vote.

Each then had to nominate another act to join the other four selected by the public, meaning half the contestants were dispatched in the last two weeks.