‘One of my favourite ever auditions’ – Irish priest stuns Simon Cowell on BGT with R.E.M. classic
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‘One of my favourite ever auditions’ – Irish priest stuns Simon Cowell on BGT with R.E.M. classic

AN IRISH priest wowed the Britain’s Got Talent judges on Saturday night with his stunning rendition of R.E.M.’s Everybody Hurts.

Father Ray Kelly, a parish priest in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, got four yeses after his audition.

So impressed was Simon Cowell, he immediately gave the 64-year-old priest a standing ovation before declaring the performance one of his favourite ever auditions.

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“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect to be honest with you,” said Cowell, “but I’m going to tell you something – this is one of my favourite ever auditions, I really mean that.

“I think your voice is beautiful, I loved the version of the song, this is everything we’ve been waiting for, genuinely.

“I absolutely loved it.”

Five things you need to know about singing priest Father Ray Kelly

Fellow judge David Walliams also lavished praised on the 64-year-old priest.

“That was a beautiful performance,” he said. “I’ve never seen a priest stand at a microphone and sing like that.

“You did it with such soul and passion, it just was a really, really brilliant performance.”

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Fr Ray shot to fame four years ago when his version of Hallelujah at an Irish wedding went viral, racking up tens of millions of hits.

He went on to release an album that went platinum in Ireland.

After his audition, he said he hoped to be the first singing priest to win Britain’s Got Talent so he could perform in front of the Royal family at the Royal Variety Performance.