Tuesday 16 July 2019

'You just seem like the loveliest man. This is a beautiful audition' - Ireland's singing priest Fr Ray Kelly wows judges of Britain's Got Talent

Fr Ray Kelly on Britain's Got Talent. Photo: TV3
Fr Ray Kelly on Britain's Got Talent. Photo: TV3
Fr Ray Kelly: vow of poverty
Fr. Ray Kelly
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Ireland’s singing priest Fr Ray Kelly (64) wowed the judges of Britain’s Got Talent with his singing abilities last night.

The Oldcastle, Co Meath parish priest impressed Simon Cowell and the rest of the judging panel with his rendition of REM’s “Everybody Hurts”.

Before he sang, Simon shared a joke with him: “Let me ask you a question, do you do exorcisms?”

“Yeah we can work on David [Walliams] whenever you want. Do you want me to zap him now or later?” Fr Ray joked.

Fr Ray told the judges of his recent success on YouTube. His version of Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah" at Chris and Leah O’Kane’s wedding in Oldcastle went viral in 2014.

“I was singing at a wedding at home in Ireland four years ago and it went viral on YouTube.”

“I said, my God, where did that come from, you know? For a guy 64 years of age, all of a sudden, to have this happen to you. I didn’t know what was happening really.”

The priest explained that he watches Britain’s Got Talent every year.

“It has the edge on everything… it offers you the chance to sing in front of the Royal family, so I’m hoping that I get the BGT audience on my side tonight.”

“I thought maybe I’d be the first singing priest to win Britain’s Got Talent,” he added.

He told the judges he chose the REM classic because: “It’s a song that#s near and dear to my heart. Being a priest you get in touch with a lot of pain, and a lot of joy and happiness as well so I suppose, it’s a song that I can [relate to].”

Fr Ray took moved the judging panel with his performance, and he got a thumbs up from everyone.

Actor and author David Walliams described it as a “beautiful performance”.

While Alesha Dixon said: “You just seem like the loveliest man. This is a beautiful audition. Well done.”

Amanda Holden described his performance as “brilliant and honest, and the whole congregation was behind you”.

Simon admitted: “I wasn’t quite sure what to expect… but this is one of my favourite ever auditions”

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