When Leonard Cohen wrote his seminal hit, I often wonder if he knew just how popular it would become as a talent show audition number? Was he at all aware when he first penned those brilliant lyrics and powerful melody exactly what he was unleashing into the world? Possibly not, because Cohen’s original, distinctive, soulful rendition is a million miles away from most takes we get on the song today.
Of course, it goes without saying that the greatest rendition of the tune belongs to Jeff Buckley, but everyone from Bob Dylan to Rufus Wainwright has had a crack at it, sometimes getting it, sometimes not. It comes as no surprise then, that there’s probably at least a few hundred covers of it in the initial stages of talent shows around the world, so you’ve got to be pretty special to stand out.
Take young Kyle Tomlinson here, who at 15-years-old, was trying for the crown of Britain’s Got Talent for the second time. The teenager, from Sheffield in the north of England, actually auditioned previously when he was 12, but judges told him he wasn’t ready. The youngster then spent over $2000 on singing lessons in the interim, and this is the result.
Kyle was clearly nervous as he took to the stage in front of the packed audience, knowing that if he didn’t make it this time he probably wouldn’t get another shot. He needn’t have worried though, as his rendition of the classic resonates with everyone in the auditorium. He puts his heart and soul into the performance, and his hard work and dedication are recognised by the judges. It finally pays off, when Kyle is awarded the golden buzzer!
And who better to press it than David Williams – the man who told Kyle he wasn’t ready just three short years ago! He slams the buzzer and the crowd goes wild, Kyle can’t believe it and his family almost lost the plot just waiting off stage in the wings. Mom and dad rush on to give him big hugs – it’s a special moment for this young fighter following his dream.
Was it up there with the other renditions of the song? I’ll leave that decision up to you! But don’t miss this dramatic BGT moment in the link below. It just shows what you can accomplish with hard work and dedication. Kyle looks like he’s going places!