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Pop Culture

'Britain's Got Talent' contestant blew Simon Cowell away singing a song he 'hates'

Her heartfelt version of "Tomorrow" brought people to tears—and completely changed Simon's tune.

Sydnie Christmas nailed her rendition of "Tomorrow" from "Annie"

Contestants on "Britain's Got Talent" (as well as "American Idol" and "America's Got Talent") have long feared Simon Cowell's judgment, so imagine auditioning with a song choice that automatically brings out his sour side.

That's what contestant Sydnie Christmas did when she chose to sing "Tomorrow" from the musical "Annie," which is Simon Cowell's least favorite song. But much to everyone's surprise, she totally blew him away with her beautiful soulful rendition, causing him to change his tune.

Before performing, Christmas bounded onto the stage with her genuine smile and spunky energy, which endeared her to the judges and audience immediately. She even cracked a joke about her middle name being "Mary" (Sydnie Mary Christmas would be quite the name choice) and got everyone laughing with her.


However, when she announced she'd be singing "Tomorrow," Cowell winced and the other judges groaned.

"That is Simon's worst song," warned judge Amanda Holden.

But when Christmas, who works as a receptionist at a gym, began to sing, it soon became clear that this wasn't an ordinary rendition of the musical classic. Soulful, heartfelt, sad but hopeful, she built the song up bit by bit, bringing the audience along with her on an emotional ride.

Watch:

Not only did she get the coveted Golden Buzzer, but she also managed to get Simon Cowell to say he now loves the song he said he'd hated just minutes before. Viewers loved it, too.

"That was the first time I could take this song serious. Before today I hated it, too," wrote one person.

"When they say you have to make the song your own, she did just that. I have never heard a better version," wrote another.

"Absolutely beautiful; love how the word “tomorrow” always sounded unique EVERY TIME! Listened over and over…" added another.

"I've heard that song a million times and she REALLY got the poignancy of it," shared another. "It is a sad song, but a song of hope, and it is hard to walk that line and she KILLED IT. It's not just about her voice, it is how she sold that song."

She even pulled in people from various walks of life, moving them with her performance:

"I'm a 60 year old highway worker. Just got off work and my wife sent this to me. What I'm trying to figure out is who's been cutting onions in my vehicle? Seriously, teared me up. This took me COMPLETELY off guard and I am so delighted to have experienced this diamond!"

"41 year old hip hop head here and never did I think I would be touched like this. The sound of suffering with a glimmer of hope in the sound. Who is cutting onions at this time."

"I’m a 60 year old builder sitting in my van having lunch. I just watched this. The guys in the next van are taking the P coz I’m crying my eyes out! Brilliant!"

As someone named Annie, I've had "Tomorrow" sung to me countless times over the years, so I shared Simon Cowell's initial grimace upon hearing what she was going to sing. But I too was moved by Christmas's performance and gained a whole new appreciation for the song after her gorgeous rendition. Not an easy feat. What a delightful surprise for us all.


This article originally appeared on 5.1.24

Mom absolutely slays when bar band hands her a fiddle.

The devil may have gone down to Georgia, but it appears he took a detour to a bar in Nashville and possessed a middle-aged mom on his way down there.

In a TikTok video that's been viewed 5.5 million times, Olivia Reeth's daughter shared that her family had gone to the Whiskey Bent Saloon in Nashville and was watching the Moonshine Outlaw Band perform. Her mom told the band she played the fiddle, and mid-song, the fiddle player decided to hand his instrument over to her.

You kind of have to wonder what the guy was thinking. Did he imagine she'd be able to keep up with the band? Did he figure she'd play a few bars and then hand it back?



Whatever he was picturing, it almost certainly wasn't what she ended up laying down.


Mom might as well have said, "I'll bet a fiddle of gold against your soul, dude" because she came prepared. In hindsight, her whipping off of her scarf was the sign it was all over, but who'd have known?

Watch her shred that man's fiddle and see how he reacts:

@skootbutt123

#nashville #whiskeybentsaloon #fiddle

The best part is when the guy pretends to boot the band's fiddler out of the bar. And then Mama got sassy with it! Absolute legend, making her skills appear effortless as she walked around the room. Didn't even take her coat off. Looking like she walked in off the street, which she basically did.

The woman's daughter shared that her mom is classically trained and that her dad was the one who introduced her to country and bluegrass music. They both play in two bands, Coconut Radio Band and Barney’s Bullet.

Seriously impressive talent. And you gotta love the respect the band's fiddle player gave her, despite her basically stealing his soul. What a fun exchange between musicians who clearly love what they do and love to share it with others.


This article originally appeared on 12.28.22

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."



“We did find a little gem from Freddie, that we’d kind of forgotten about,” Taylor said in June, according to the BBC. "It's wonderful, a real discovery. It's a very passionate piece."


That "little gem" is a four-minute ballad called "Face It Alone." Queen released a lyric video of the song on its YouTube channel, and it's bringing fans to tears.

The lyrics are particularly heart-wrenching, considering the timing of the song's recording. Mercury was reportedly diagnosed with HIV in 1987, though kept it a secret from the public and even from many who worked closely with him until shortly before his death.

Comments have poured in from around the world in multiple languages, and the sentiment is universal—people are deeply moved.

"Over 3 million views in one day. To hear Freddie's voice again is so special. You live forever, darling. The song is heart breaking but then again, Queen's songs are from the heart and that can never go wrong. Thank you to all who made it happen." – sweet pea

"One day Freddie said: 'I won't be a star,I will be a Legend'And yes we all agree, he STILL REMAINS A LEGEND even after 31 years after his death. AMAZING." – Gloria Sousa

"Freddie’s vocal is killing me same today as 20 years ago. Thank You Queen for this amazing gift after so many years. We love You." – Adrian Kufel

"What to say?? A great magnificent surprise. All I know is that I cried the moment I heard this voice, these words.... Only Freddie. Love this man for eternity.. It seems as if he returned briefly to us!! To send us a message... What a beautiful present for all his fans, for this generation that has had the impact of the pandemic, this strange war, these strange times. So happy and touched to hear this now. Thank you Queen... Thank you Freddie forever !!!" – Fern 19671

"So great to see all the Freddie and Queen fans here today celebrating this song and Freddie's amazing voice. I love how much Freddie is still treasured. I remember the day he passed away, how I cried. It's like a gift to get this new song and have his song playing loud throughout the house today. We all love you dear Freddie." - Sarah-Louise ASMR

Mercury was truly a legend in his own time, and hearing his voice anew almost makes it feel like he's time-traveled to the here and now. What a lovely gift for Queen fans everywhere.


This article originally appeared on 10.14.22

Pandas are some of the silliest creatures on Earth.

At first glance, giant pandas can be intimidating. Their large size and sharp teeth and claws might evoke the kind of instinctual fear any bear would.

You definitely don't want to mess with their babies, make them feel threatened or assume they're as cuddly as they look, as they actually can be dangerous. But compared to other bears, giant pandas are pretty chill. This is especially true for pandas in captivity, who aren't just generally docile but downright doofy.

Watching a panda play is like watching a toddler that doesn't quite have their bearings yet. They tumble and stumble and get themselves into conundrums and appear to be having a grand old time doing it, which is what makes the song "Death by Panda" so perfect.


The song, shared by Some Guy Named Robb (Robb McCormick), paints pandas to be terrifying, vicious creatures in a fun, parodying kind of way. Check out these lyrics:

Pandas will melt your face

Turn your bones to paste

Destroy the human race

It's on their 'things to do' list

With a driving beat and intense electric guitar, "Death by Panda" makes a hilarious soundtrack for videos of pandas…well, being pandas. Just watching them walk around is entertaining, but give them some outdoor equipment to play on and OMG the delight

Watch:

The song can be found on Spotify, where you can listen to it in its entirety. And the panda behavior in the video prompted a wave of funny comments highlighting how absurd these creatures really are.

"Kung fu panda makes so much sense now🤣"

"There’s a reason they’ve been on the endangered species list."

"Never before realized that I have the agility of a panda."

"Panda: the drunken uncle of the bear species."

"Pretty sure all Pandas are part Chris Farley."

"Look... they're here for a good time....not a long time unless we bubble wrap their entire habitat and give em little helmets.😂❤️"

"I totally get why Jack Black was Kung Fu Panda."

"The instinctive ability to fall & roll in a controlled way, is their funny survival tactic.😆"

"Based on my lack of balance and clumsiness, I may have been a panda in a past life...."

People can be so funny.

But seriously, how do these guys survive in the wild?

In case you're actually wondering about that, pandas used to be on the endangered species list, but have been downgraded to "vulnerable" status. The World Wildlife Fund celebrate giant pandas as living proof of conservation efforts working, as the number of pandas in the wild has grown with protections in place for them and their habitat.

Panda habitats are among the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, so protecting them helps not only the giant panda but also other threatened and endangered species such as golden snub-nosed monkeys, takins, red pandas and snow leopards.

Climate change, tourism, overharvesting of bamboo and other threats pose challenges giant pandas' future. But we can take inspiration from the fact that conservation has worked for these majestically goofy creatures and keep those efforts going.