Singing Priest Stuns Simon Cowell on Britain’s Got Talent in Viral Performance

Britain's Got Talent, YouTube

Wow, this is amazing!

Britain’s Got Talent tough-to-please judge Simon Cowell said he didn’t know what to expect when Fr. Ray Kelly stepped out on stage.

But when the Irish priest was done (you can watch his performance below), Simon gave him two thumbs up and one of the best compliments a contestant can get: “Let me tell you something. This is one of my favorite ever auditions. I really mean that.

Fr. Kelly first became semi-famous when a video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s song Hallelujah at a wedding went viral on YouTube in 2014 (you can watch the video here). Soon after, he was signed by Universal Music and released two albums, but then had his contract abruptly canceled in 2015. And he went back to his normal life as the parish priest of St. Brigid′s & St. Mary′s parish in Oldcastle.

Until a few weeks ago, that is, when he appeared on Britain’s Got Talent. He performed “Everybody Hurts” by R.E.M., got a standing ovation, high praise from Simon Cowell, and “yes” votes from all four judges! Which means we should expect to see him again later on in the show.

Here’s Fr. Ray Kelly’s performance:

What do you think of his performance? Let us know in the comments!

[See also: What Happened When This Priest Wore a Traditional Cassock in the Deep South]

[See also: “Need Confession?”: Priest’s Sign on University Campus Goes Viral]