As Simon Cowell said, Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw auditioned with one of the most unbelievable backstories the X Factor has ever heard.
The mother of three had been singing since she was 13, but took a hiatus when she turned 30 years old. Her husband, she said, had a work accident that left him paralyzed for six months.
“I gave it all up to basically help him get back to fitness and learn to walk again and I never went back and now I’m here,” said the 40-year-old, who also runs a heart charity.
Ten years later, she bravely stood on stage to perform Whitney Houston’s “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength,” a song that accurately describes all she’s been through.
She passionately belted the lyrics, which include, “I thought I’d never make it through/I had no hope to hold on to/I thought I would break.”
The heartfelt performance made judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versini very emotional, much like the time a 21-year-old singer made Cowell break down.
“It’s ridiculous how much the words resonate with me and I understand you’ve been through some hard times,” she told the contestant. “It really touched us.”
Watch below to see why this contestant received “three big fat yeses.”
40-Year-Old Singer Leaves ‘X Factor’ Judge In Tears
Sherilyn Hamilton-Shaw leaves Cheryl in tears