Emma Jones took the stage in front of a packed theater, and even more intimidating, notoriously harsh judge Simon Cowell on Saturday night — stepping on the stage as just another nervous hopeful on Cowell’s Britain’s Got Talent show.
By the time she left the stage, the delighted Emma left the house in tears of joy and received a standing ovation — even from Cowell — in what may have been the show’s most inspiring moment since a terrified misfit named Susan Boyle — who was later diagnosed with Asperger syndrome — wowed the show and shot instantly to worldwide fame back in 2009 thanks to her unexpectedly incredible voice.
Now Emma Jones appears to be next in line to Boyle’s throne as unlikeliest overnight sensation ever discovered on a talent competition reality show.
Watch her incredible performance in the video above. If it doesn’t bring at least a lump to your throat or even a tear to your eye, well, you might want to get a chest X-ray to see if you still have a heart.
In the video, you’ll see a stone-faced Cowell challenge a clearly trembling Emma Jones, demanding to know why she wanted to appear on the show.
“I just wanted to try it and see if you liked my voice,” Emma replies meekly.
Cowell then asks a question to which he certainly already knows the answer.
“Are you nervous?” he wants to know.
The 23-year-old, painfully shy native of Cumbria — England’s most northwest county — barely nods and admits what is clearly visible to everyone there. She’s petrified.
But does that stop her from delivering one of the most flawless and moving renditions of the Franz Schubert composition “Ave Maria” that you’ve ever heard? Check out the video and see for yourself.
As you’ll see, by the end of her incredible rendition of the song, she has not only the audience on its collective feet, but the four Britain’s Got Talent judges as well. The gleefully surprised look on Emma’s face is priceless.
“You should be confident, Emma, you have a fantastic voice,” said judge David Walliams — best known to American audiences from the HBO comedy series Little Britain. “Very few of us could sing like that and you should come out and sing like a winner, because that’s what you are.”
“That was just such a beautiful audition and just watching you react to how the audience reacted to you is just so beautiful and so touching,” another judge, English pop star Alesha Dixon, added. “There’s something so endearing about you. I thought that was wonderful.”
Finally, Emma Jones won over the toughest Britain’s Got Talent judge of all, Cowell himself, who told the shy but spectacular singer, “I really like you. Actually I’m going to change that. I love you. I do.”