The great thing about talent shows is that they give contestants with varying life experiences the chance to share their gifts with the world. That includes blind contestants like Kodi Lee, who recently received the Golden Buzzer on AGT.
Kodi isn’t the first blind contestant to take the talent show stage. Several other performers with vision impairment have blown the judges away on shows like Got Talent, Idol, and The Voice — all over the world. Check out their amazing performances below.
1. Kodi Lee, America’s Got Talent
We have to mention Kodi. This 22-year-old pianist and singer also has autism. His performance of “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway brought the AGT judges and audience to tears, and earned the Golden Buzzer from new judge Gabrielle Union. And the video has over 13 million views in just over a day. He’s going straight to the Season 14 live shows.
2. Benjamin Yonattan, America’s Got Talent
This 14-year-old dancer started losing his vision two years before auditioning for America’s Got Talent. With the help of a Google Glass, Benjamin performed a beautiful contemporary dance routine for his Season 10 audition. Benjamin made it to the Quarterfinals.
3. Shayy, American Idol
This 17-year-old became legally blind about a year before her audition. She performed a beautiful rendition of Andra Day’s “Rise Up” on Season 17, and brought judge Lionel Richie to tears. Although Shayy was eliminated during the Top 40 showcase, she returned to perform “Rise Up” with Andra Day herself on the finale.
4. Scott MacIntyre, American Idol
You might remember Scott from Season 8 of American Idol. He was the first visually impaired contestant to appear on the show, and made it to the Top 8. After his run on Idol, he performed with the Top 10 finalists on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009. Scott underwent his second kidney transplant in 2015, and has appeared as a motivational speaker in addition to releasing music.
5. Blessing Offor, The Voice
Blessing was born in Nigeria. He has been blind in his left eye since birth and lost vision in his right eye at age 9. His audition of “Just the Two of Us” turned all four coaches’ chairs at the last second in Season 7. He chose to join Team Pharrell and was later stolen by Adam Levine, but he was eliminated in the Knockout rounds. He has continued to perform and record music since his time on the show.
6. Rachael Leahcar, The Voice Australia
This legally blind singer’s rendition of “La Vie En Rose” turned all four coaches’ chairs in Season 1 of Australia’s competition in 2012. Rachael joined Delta Goodrem’s team and made it to third place. Based on her appearance on the show, Rachael received a record deal from Universal Music Australia. She has since released several albums.
7. Vernon Barnard, The Voice South Africa
Vernon auditioned for Season 1 of South Africa’s competition in 2016 with One Direction’s “Story of My Life.” Coach Bobby van Jaarsveld was brought to tears by the performance. Although he didn’t make it to the Finale, he did go on to the Live Shows on Bobby’s team. Since, Vernon released his debut album Deur Jou Oë in 2018.
8. Andrea Begley, The Voice UK
Andrea, who has 90% vision loss, won the second season of The Voice UK on Danny O’Donoghue’s team, beating favorite to win Leah McFall and visibly angering coach will.i.am. She auditioned with “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan. Andrea later released an album called The Message.
9. Vincent Vinel, The Voice France
Vincent, who is visually impaired, wowed the coaches in Season 6 of France’s competition. He was discovered by casting and encouraged to audition after they heard him performing at a bus station. Vincent is best known for his performance of Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” on the piano. He went on to finish the competition in third place.