According to Yahoo Entertainment, American Idol judge Lionel Richie was struggling to contain himself as blind singer Shayy Winn demonstrated her incredible talent in her recent audition.
On Wednesday’s episode, Winn told her heartbreaking backstory of how she lost her eyesight. She says it started when she was struggling to see the whiteboard at school, which left her thinking at the time, “Ah man, I’m gonna need glasses now!”
But after a series of tests, Winn was rushed to the emergency room and diagnosed with a brain tumor that was affecting her vision. The doctors did everything they could, but she was left with legal blindness, only able to see light.
She said the worst part was when she arrived at school with a cane and her fellow students mercilessly bullied her.
“They’d call me names, kick my cane, pushed me…”
Fortunately, she had family and friends who were “in her corner” and helped her adjust to life being blind and encouraged her to pursue her dreams.
In front of the judges, she revealed that they were only able to remove 50 percent of the tumor and according to doctors, her life is “a question mark.” Still, despite her tragic backstory, Winn also revealed she had an amazing talent for singing when performing the song “Rise Up.”
With her soulful voice filling the room, Richie was apparently barely able to contain his emotions as tears filled his eyes and he was reaching for tissues.
At the end of her performance, Richie declared that Winn had “wrecked” it, and he ran up to give her a hug.
“I’ve never seen Lionel cry this much,” fellow judge Katy Perry said, laughing in delight.
“You have what we cannot teach. We cannot teach letting the music flow straight from the soul, and that’s what you did. It just pours out of you… I’m so in love with you,” judge Luke Bryan commented, impressed by Winn’s talent.
Perry declared that Winn was “not a question mark” and all three judges gave their confirmations for Winn to participate in American Idol as a contestant.
Winn became very emotional as she was handed the golden ticket, allowing her continue to the next stage of this year’s competition.
Back home, footage showed Winn entering her school gymnasium with golden ticket in hand. Dozens of students cheered and there didn’t seem to be a bully in sight.
While her life and remaining eyesight is still a question mark as a result of the half of the brain tumor that was not removed, there’s no question that she’s a talented singer with a bright future on this season of American Idol.
Winn faces some powerful competition going forward. As covered by a previous article on The Inquisitr, one of this season’s contestants was declared “the winner” by Katy Perry in the same episode.