Here is another example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover! You never know someone’s talent and expertise until they open their mouth. That’s all part of the fun, isn’t it? It’s fun to be greeted with a pleasant surprise that exceeds expectations! Just look at the judge’s faces when 16-year-old Michael Rice steps up to the plate to sing!
When Michael walked into the room, the judges looked at him and asked where he worked, to which he replies a fish and chips shop in his hometown of Hartlepool, UK. He and the judges go back and forth discussing how they like their fish and chips until they ask what Michael will be performing. His response raises their eyebrows. The teen reveals he will be singing Whitney Houston’s “I Look To You” and Simon says, “Are you really?” as the other judges look skeptical. Even an audience member’s face expresses doubt and concern!
But nothing phases Michael. He’s not even nervous! That’s how confident he is in his craft and choice of song. He knows what he was brought here to do, and he’s ready to deliver, regardless of what anyone thinks. The judges wish him luck, and they sit back and relax, but appear puzzled and curious as to what Michael has in store. After all, he’s a teen taking on a Whitney ballad. That’s a little ambitious, no?
Michael delivers his performance flawlessly. From the second the instrumental version starts to play, he knows he’s got them from his first note. His voice has a wide range but sounds different than Whitney’s vocals. He’s got his own sound and takes on the song with confidence. This is exactly what you’re supposed to do with a rendition — make it your own, someone has already sung the original, so there’s no point in just copying what’s already been done, right?
He wows the judges from the get-go, too. Simon and Cheryl’s faces give expressions of fascination!
Michael takes them on a musical journey that surprises and delights them all, flexing his vocals in a way that no one saw coming. The teen finishes his song, and is met with very positive feedback about the power of his voice, agreeing that he’s the “fish and chip shop diva with a bit of gravy on top!” Simon ends the clip by saying, “Just when you think you can’t be surprised…” He’s a star in the making!!
Click below to watch this powerful audition gone very well!