The brother of Epworth actress Sheridan Smith suffered acute laryngitis for his televised audition on The Voice, but still belted out Folsom Prison Blues as best he could, to Will.i.am, Tom Jones, Ricky Wilson and Rita Ora.
His much weakened voice failed to get a turn, but an avalanche of fan mail helped to relieve the agony of missing out after almost a year of pre-auditions, Damian told the Bells.
“I’d smashed the last rehearsal,” he said. “Then the afternoon of the next day my voice went. We tried vocal coaching, everything. I tried my hardest but there was no option to move to another date so I gave it my best. My parents, the band and some friends were all there too so I didn’t want to let them down.”
Despite his disappointment Damian, 39, took advice he was given, to set up a fan page on facebook and a youtube channel for acoustic work he has tagged ‘Bedroom Sessions’. He added: “You never know. They do have a wild card to play at the end....there may be another chance. I didn’t even know I was to be on Saturday’s show until a week before.”
He managed to embarrass his famous sister by repeating to judge Ricky Wilson that Sheridan ‘fancied’ him. “He asked if she was there but she wasn’t able to be at that time - perhaps it was a good thing,” he laughed.
He confessed to being pleased at being dubbed a ‘cool dude’ by Rita Ora, not least for his wide grin as he left the stage. And Will.i.am said he had guts for going out there.
“The whole thing has made me more determined if anything. They really do treat you well on the show,” he added. “It is all done properly, down to the tiniest detail.”
The Torn’s single, Take It, written by Damian Dalton Smith, is released by Sound Hub Records to 180 countries on March 9.
And his next step might be down to a whim of his sister’s, revealed Damian: “Sheridan asked me to put Wild Girl on my channel so that might be next. We’ll see.”
His social media sites are littered with comments and tributes from fans old and new. Here is a small sample:
Clare Murphy: You did good!! Take all the positives from your experience, onwards and upwards for a guy that truly deserves it xx
Anita Matthews: You were so brave, your personality shone through and you will have gained many more fans! For us who know how truly talented you are it was agony but have never felt so proud! Your day will come you’re already a super star in my eyes! X
Samantha Ponting: You came across fantastic, a real genuine down to earth musician. And I thought it was such a brave choice to go on regardless. Life rewards those who grab every opportunity, even in the face of adversity. Your time is coming, trust in yourself xxx
Ian Gallagher: hiya mate, just watched the show from last night, massive respect to you mate, great performance despite the adverse circumstances, onwards and upwards, keep smiling Damo.