As a judge for hit music shows from Britain’s Got Talent, to the X-Factor, and American Idol, Simon Cowell has been an unforgettable presence on TV for the past two decades. His legendary wit has always made audiences laugh, but his tough judgments have sometimes made contestants cry.
With Simon Cowell, you get the truth and nothing but the truth. But even this tough veteran was deeply moved by a group of performers whose mission was to make great music to raise money for The Christie Hospital, one of Europe’s largest cancer treatment centers.
The Christie Musical Theatre Company has been putting on top-quality song and dance performances to raise money for their incredible hospital since 2010. It all started with vocalists Emma Norman and Lia Wilkinson, who lost loved ones to cancer. Their friends were amazingly cared for by the hospital, and now these women wanted to say thank you.
Since organizing that first musical fundraiser, they’ve been growing leaps and bounds ever since, raising thousands of pounds for the hospital and winning awards for their performances. In 2018, the Company got the chance of a lifetime: a performance for Cowell and his fellow judges on Britain’s Got Talent.
They sent 21 of their members to the show to perform Elton John’s “The Circle of Life” from The Lion King. They couldn’t have dreamed of the response they received. The entire audience and all four judges got to their feet for a heartfelt standing ovation. As the group posted on their Facebook page: “the Judges told us that we were a special project; they could tell we were all individually talented but worked brilliantly together as an ensemble.”
While performers went to the wings to bask in the glow of their incredible reception, they were stunned by the appearance of Simon Cowell himself, who brought lead vocalist Emma Wilkinson back out on the stage for another round of applause.
As they posted on Facebook, Simon “told her he would very much like to donate money to The Christie himself. He reiterated that he loved her voice, hugged her” and then said goodbye, leaving the company with their mouths hanging wide open.
So this evening we are nominated for 3 Regional NODA Awards for ‘In the Heights’ – • Emma Norman (Director)• John…
After their audition, the Christie performers were obviously hoping that they would get to continue through the competition. They were disappointed when Britain’s Got Talent didn’t call them back for the next round. But any sadness they might have had disappeared after what happened next.
That’s because Simon Cowell came through with the donation he had promised, for a huge 10,000 pounds (almost US$13,000)! So while they didn’t get a chance to go further, the company couldn’t have been happier. “We will never ever forget our visit to Britain’s Got Talent and how it led to such a massive donation from the most important man in music.”
An amazing end to a magical run by some great performers for a great cause, and a show from Simon Cowell that his gruff exterior hides a teddy bear inside.