Judge Simon Cowell has had several emotional reunions with former BGT contestants during this season of BGT: The Champions. First, he was amazed to see how much Season 1 runner-up Connie Talbot had grown. Then he apologized to former winner Jai McDowell for criticizing him.
In the most recent episode of the all-stars season, Simon had what was certainly the most meaningful reunion yet. Julia Carlile, whose scoliosis surgery Simon paid for, returned to the stage with her dance group the MerseyGirls.
Simon Cowell Pays For Julia Carlile’s Surgery
Julia and the MerseyGirls competed on BGT in 2017 with the intention of using the prize money to pay for Julia’s scoliosis surgery. Although they didn’t win, Julia was able to get the surgery anyway when Simon Cowell offered to pay for it.
Simon paid for Julia to have surgery in the United States, as opposed to the UK option, which reportedly would have put a steel rod in her back and prevented her from dancing. The 17-year-old is now back to doing what she loves with her fellow dancers.
Simon Cowell and Julia Carlile reunite on the BGT: Champions stage
The MerseyGirls returned to the BGT stage in a Champions episode which aired this past weekend. They performed a beautiful routine set to Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful,” and received a standing ovation from all four judges.
“It’s one person’s strength, and beyond that it is the friendship and support … and the fact you stayed together, supported each other, and were able to come back tonight, it’s everything,” Simon told the group afterward.
“I literally thought by now I would be at home, not dancing for the rest of my life,” Julia said. “Here I am at Wembley, backflipping with my best friends. It’s crazy. I couldn’t walk two years ago and now I’m here dancing. Thank you so much.”
She then ran to the judges’ table to give Simon a hug and thank him. Simon answered, “Likewise.” And to make the reunion even more special, the MerseyGirls advanced to the finals thanks to the audience vote.