Fr Ray Kelly wowed the judges of Britain’s Got Talent and received a very warm reception from his parishioners in Oldcastle this morning.
He impressed the judging panel of Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden with a rendition of REM’s Everybody Hurts which was broadcast on Saturday night.
Fr Kelly previously went viral after a video of him singing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah at a wedding in 2014 received over 60 million views on YouTube.
Speaking to The Irish Times on Sunday, Fr Kelly said “I’m just out of 11.30am Mass, people were in congratulating me, they gave me a big round of applause in the church this morning.”
The parish priest said he is due to appear on ITV’s This Morning Show with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby on Monday.
“I’ve always loved to sing and perform and I do it in church here all the time with Mass but I never thought it would reach this level,” he said.
Fr Kelly received a standing ovation from the crowd and all four judges, who have placed him into the next stage of the contest.
Simon Cowell said he wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Fr Kelly but that “this is one of my favourite ever auditions”
“I think your voice is beautiful, I loved the version of the song, this is everything we’ve been waiting for. I absolutely loved it,” he said.
Actor and author David Walliams said it was “a beautiful performance” while singer Alesha Dixon said “you just seem like the loveliest man, this is a beautiful audition”.
Fr Kelly said he was “blown away” by the judges’ comments. “I didn’t know what to expect from the judges or anything, you know when you go out and do something like that.