He stands before the judges and audience attired only in modest clothes, with silver beard, untamed hair and a beaming, Santa Claus face. The smiling, 54-year-old man holding the saxophone is Herbie Russ, once a homeless man hiding a great talent.
Herbie’s gentle personality wins the judges over even before he starts to sing. Bravely, he has chosen a Joe Cocker classic for his audition, “With a Little Help from My Friends.” This could be risky, it is a lot to live up to. But what happens next rocks the socks off the whole jovial Santa Claus image – Herbie can really sing!
He belts out the famous lyrics with that same gravel in his voice that was typical of Joe Cocker. With a little help from his saxophone, his gritty rendition is full of soul and delivered with passion.
The audience is shocked and thrilled, the judges are blown away. After the applause and cheers die down, Simon Cowell gives Russ valuable advice and tells the silver-haired gentleman that his impressive performance was, “Unbelievable.”
Watch the video clip and enjoy this amazing rendition of Joe Cocker’s timeless song.
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