Blind contestant, Shayla ‘Shayy’ Winn, brings American Idol judges to tears with her audition song ‘Rise Up’ by Andra Day. Her story brought inspiration to the judges and over 7.6 Million viewers on Facebook!
Shayy, 17-years-old, was declared legally blind a year ago, but she didn’t let her condition stop her from pursuing her dreams.
The Virginian teen went to an eye doctor after having a problem with her eyesight thinking that she needed eyeglasses. It turned out that she had a more serious problem. The doctor sent her to the Emergency Room where she found out that she has a hydrocephalus that caused swelling of her optic nerve. Her doctors discovered that she had a tumor on her brain.
The American idol contestant underwent surgery to remove half of the tumor that was discovered. The other half of the tumor was too dangerous to be removed so they decided not to risk Shayy’s life.
She was bullied at school since she had to walk with a cane. It was hard for her, but her family and friends have been continuously supporting her.
“It’s a whole other side to life that I never knew about,” Shayy said.
As Shayy started to sing her audition piece, Lionel Richie started to tear up. Katie and Luke also got emotional with her performance. The judges gave Shayy a standing ovation for her angelic voice.
Lionel even approached her to express his love and gratitude for the young lady.
“So Shayy, you have what we cannot teach. We cannot teach letting the music flow straight from the soul and that’s what you did. It just pours out of you,” Luke said.
“You are a lesson to us all because it is the power of the spirit, you are a reminder of just how blessed we are,” Lionel said composing himself. “You walk out here with all the confidence in the world and just deliver your spirit, you touched me. I’m so in love with you.”