Singing
Irish priest earns praise during audition for beautiful way he sings “Everybody Hurts”
He already had 89 million views online, but he wanted to test his mettle in front of the "big dogs".
Jessica Adler
01.31.24

At 64, Father Ray Kelly, an Irish Catholic Priest, took a bold step.

He appeared on Britain’s Got Talent, a move that was both surprising and delightful.

Priests rarely participate in such competitions, making his decision an unforgettable event.

Father Kelly was more than just another contestant. He was a man of faith with a golden heart.

His voice was so captivating that even Simon Cowell, known for his tough critiques, was impressed.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

This wasn’t Father Kelly’s first time in the spotlight.

He had previously gone viral with a heartwarming video. In it, he sang “Hallelujah” at a wedding.

This video gathered over 90 million views on YouTube, making him an internet sensation.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

A fan of the show, Father Kelly was thrilled at the prospect of performing for the Royal Family.

When he introduced himself on stage, Simon Cowell was intrigued.

However, Cowell was unsure what to expect from the priest.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

Father Kelly chose “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M. for his performance.

He shared that the song was close to his heart.

“It’s a song that’s kind of near and dear to my heart,” he explained. “Being a priest, you get in touch with a lot of pain, joy, and happiness as well.”

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

The audience and judges were captivated as Father Kelly began to sing. His performance was powerful and moving.

From the first note, it was evident that he possessed an extraordinary talent.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

It was the emotion he poured into the lyrics that moved everyone.

The line “When the day is long, and the night is yours alone, when you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on,” resonated deeply.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

The performance concluded with profound silence. Then, Simon Cowell led a standing ovation.

The audience’s reaction and Simon’s applause brought tears to Father Kelly’s eyes.

The judges were unanimous in their praise. The first judges commended his brilliant and beautiful audition.

YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent
Source:
YouTube - Britain’s Got Talent

Simon Cowell, usually reserved with his compliments, addressed Father Kelly.

“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, to be honest with you,” he said. “But, I want to tell you something. This is one of my favorite ever auditions.”

Receiving four “yeses,” Father Kelly advanced to the next round. He left an indelible mark on the show.

See Father Kelly leave Simon wanting more in the video below!

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