The best thing I love about YouTube is it brings us talent from around the world and it opens us up to new shows we never knew existed. That’s why I love the “Got Talent” franchise because it’s everywhere and thankfully for this girl, that includes good old Britain.
The panel of judges on Britain’s Got Talent, AGT’s counterpart across the pond, were clearly dubious when 12-year-old Welsh schoolgirl Maria took the stage and announced her choice of song for her audition. She explained that she would be singing a tune by her hero, Whitney Houston, entitled “I Have Nothing.”
Even saying the name of the late singer brings skepticism to judges’ faces because Whitney’s legendary vocal range is nearly impossible to match.
However, the youngster, who hails from South Wales about 3 and half hours’ drive west from London, stood squarely before the mic and exuded tremendous confidence despite Simon Cowell’s typically intimidating gaze. Doubtless, Maia had comfort in the knowledge that a huge cadre of relatives was backstage and in the audience eager to cheer her on.
When she launched into the love ballad’s opening lyrics the crowd went wild with joy. Young Maia hit every note and sang with a heartfelt, genuine understanding of the romantic song that seemed beyond her years.
The crowd rose to its feet for a standing ovation as Maia concluded the song, and judges unanimously expressed delight. “I was worried you were just going to be yet another little girl who just loves Whitney Houston,” said Simon, “but you were mind-blowingly fantastic…For all the right reasons, you are the one that I am going to remember from today’s auditions. You are someone to watch this year.”
Suffice it to say, Ms. Gough made it into the competition. She sang another Whitney tune, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” during the semifinal rounds despite the fact that the youngster had come down with a case of tonsillitis.
The judges were effusive in their praise and impressed that she sang despite her illness. “You got tonsillitis and you decide to sing one of the hardest Whitney songs,” said Cowell. “That takes guts and it worked. I liked the fact that I could actually hear you and I could hear the Welsh lilt. The control was terrific.” See and hear this determined, talented young singer for yourself.