Visually impaired British-Pakistani teenager wins hearts at Britain's Got Talent

Published May 17, 2020
Sirine Jahangir's rendition of Gabrielle Aplin's My Salvation not only received a standing ovation from the audience, but also a yes from all four judges, taking her to the next round. — Screengrab courtesy Britain's Got Talent
Sirine Jahangir's rendition of Gabrielle Aplin's My Salvation not only received a standing ovation from the audience, but also a yes from all four judges, taking her to the next round. — Screengrab courtesy Britain's Got Talent

A 14-year-old visually-impaired British-Pakistani girl won hearts at Britain's Got Talent after wowing the crowd and the judges with her soulful vocals.

Sirine Jahangir's rendition of Gabrielle Aplin's My Salvation not only received a standing ovation from the audience, but also a yes from all four judges, taking her to the next round.

At the start of the performance, a visibly nervous Jahangir told the judges that she was visually impaired. "So it’s pretty obvious that I can’t see. There was a time when I could and now I can't [...] but I guess music is my vision and that's what I live by. It’s like it's my thing.”

During the performance, Jahangir's younger brother and mother were visibly emotional as she played the piano and sang her heart out.

When it came time for the judges' comments, David Williams said: "Well done Sirine. What you couldn’t see was the whole of the Palladium on their feet applauding you because they loved that."

British singer Alesha Dixon congratulated the young singer on her performance. "What a sweet, sweet girl you are, my heart is just melting. You are so nervous but it’s completely understandable because it’s such a massive deal and you sang beautifully."

Meanwhile, Amanda Holden simply said: "I just found the entire audition so poignant, so beautiful and you just exude lightness, it was just brilliant."

Simon Cowell started his feedback by asking the teenager the reason behind her nerves.

"I only do school performances so this is something completely new and being able to sing right now is such a big opportunity and I don't want to waste it."

"Good for you," Cowell said before adding: "I think I should be the first person to say yes."

According to The Mirror, Jahangir lost her eyesight at age nine.

Her parents realised their daughter might have a serious eyesight problem was when she was five. Four years later, despite agonising medical procedures, Jahangir also lost all vision in her right eye, the publication said.

"When I lost my sight, I like to think I got new gifts. I used to like dancing, but when I became blind I spent more time singing and playing piano," the publication quoted her as saying.

According to Geo News, Jahnagir is the granddaughter of Sahibzada Jahangir, one of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oldest friends and his spokesperson on trade and investment in UK and Europe.

Speaking to the publication, Sahibzada Jahangir said: “Our joy cannot be put in words. She has shown to millions of people what a unique talent she is. She is a confident, super talented and well-liked young girl who wants to spread the message of good in the world."

He added that after her audition went viral, the family received messages of support from "thousands of Pakistanis who have taken pride in her achievements".

"The messages of support have come from Pakistanis of all backgrounds, family and friends," he said.

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