Elvis Presley may have died decades ago and while no one will ever replace the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, a contestant on Ireland’s Got Talent has come very close.
Barry Darcy from Cork appeared on the Irish version of the hit talent show and before belting out a show-stopping performance of Elvis’ ‘The Wonder of You’, the 38-year-old explained that he overcame a serious health diagnosis to perform on the show in the first place.
“To be honest, it’s a bit of a sad story,” he told the show’s judges, fighting back tears. “It’s quite difficult for me to talk about. I thought I’d never sing again but I’m here to try.”
Barry explained that he had a herniated disk in his back which crushed the main nerves feeding into his legs. He went to get out of bed one morning and fell to the floor, with doctors unsure if the nerves would flare up again. Doctors gave Barry a 50/50 chance of ever walking again but with the support of his loving wife and his two sons, he was able to pull through.
“I’m singing an Elvis Presley song, ‘The Wonder of You’, and it means a lot to me now because I sat back in that wheelchair and I looked at my family and I saw what they were doing for me and having to carry on with their own lives while dealing with what was going on with me,” he said. “The words in that song, when no one else can understand me, they did understand me and they understood very well what was going on with me.”
The singer then grabbed the microphone and sang the classic Elvis tune, much to the delight of the judges and the studio audience. While he didn’t look like Elvis, he certainly sounded like him.
Following the performance, judges Louis Walsh, Jason Byrne, Michelle Visage and Denise van Outen gave Barry a standing ovation, while the crowd went wild.
“Barry, Barry Barry. Where have you been?” an excited Louis asked.
The judge then got out of his chair and hit the golden buzzer, causing Barry to break down in tears of joy as the crowd went wild again. In Ireland’s Got Talent, a contestant who is given the golden buzzer automatically progresses through to the live semi-final shows.
In tear-jerking scenes, Barry’s wife and children ran out on stage to give Barry a massive hug, while Louis also made his way on stage.
“I won’t disappoint you,” Barry told Louis, fighting back tears.
“When you started singing it was like, ‘wow’,” Louis told him. “You were brilliant and you deserve it and I loved everything about it.”