Saturday 18 November 2017

Armless pianist wins talent contest

China's Liu Wei playing the piano with his toes (AP Photo)
China's Liu Wei playing the piano with his toes (AP Photo)

A musician who lost both arms in a childhood accident and plays the piano with his toes has won China's Got Talent.

Liu Wei performed his version of James Blunt's love song You're Beautiful to a packed audience at the Shanghai Stadium.

All three judges on the show praised the 23-year-old for his determination, urging him to keep on pursuing his dreams, and the Beijing native said he would try, quipping: "At least I have a pair of perfect legs."

For winning the Chinese version of the show which helped to make Britain's Susan Boyle a singing star, Liu will be invited to play as a guest performer with Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai. He also has the chance of a performing contract.

Liu's arms were amputated after he suffered an electrical shock while playing hide-and-seek when he was 10.

At the age of 18, he decided to pursue a career in music, using his feet to play the piano, much as he uses them to navigate on the computer, eat, dress and brush his teeth.

China's Got Talent, a weekly programme shown on local channel Dragon TV, has helped draw attention to the hopes and challenges of disabled and otherwise disadvantaged Chinese. It featured scores of acts, including a seven-year-old stand-up comedian, Zhang Fengxi, who came second.

The programme, which began in July, is part of British recording executive Simon Cowell's Got Talent franchise, which now has versions broadcasting in more than 30 countries.

Press Association

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