Have you been watching this season of American Idol? I say the same thing every year, “I’m not watching this year”, yet somehow, I always get sucked right back in by some of its contestants. This season, I became a fan of Shayy’s! The girl can sing!
During her audition, Shayy told the judges, she lost her vision a year ago. After having trouble seeing and numerous doctors’ visits, it was concluded Shayy had a tumor on her brain. Shayy had surgery to remove the tumor, but it returned and left her blind.
I wonder if Shayy was upset after losing her vision? As I have shared with you before, after 32 years of walking independently, I lost my ability to do so. I was very upset at first, but how long can you stay in that dark state of mind and remain healthy? Not long. Thank goodness with the help of my faith and family I got over it. I was able to get back to a place of happiness and acceptance.
You must have something to live for to make you want to carry on. Obviously the thing that makes Shayy tick is singing.
At her audition, Shayy sang a powerful rendition of soul singer Andrea Day’s song, Rise Up. I kid you not; you could actually feel Shayy’s emotional performance projecting straight through the television. You could tell the judges were moved as it brought Lionel Ritchie, one of the judges, to tears. Not only was Lionel Ritchie in tears, but yours truly was sobbing uncontrollable. Yes ME! She was quickly put through to the next round of competition.
During Hollywood week, Shayy struggled in her group trying to learn the Backstreet Boys, “I Want It That Way,” because she couldn’t see the words to the song. Luckily, Shayy’s mother was with her and was able to read the words to her; Shayy, was also fortunate to be in a group who supported her. At the end of their performance, the group who named themselves UNEXPECTED VIBE, sported dark goggles simulating what it is to be blind to support Shayy. Shayy as well as two other group members made it through to the top 40. Unfortunately, during the top 40 competition Shayy was eliminated not advancing to the top 20.
As you imagine, Shayy was sad and so was I, but she understood the exposure she had gotten was more than she ever dreamed. She also vowed never to give up on her dream of singing.
Most are inspired by Shayy’s story and that’s cool. But, this is not a story of inspiration. This is a story about a girl who can sing. When looking at people with disabilities, we need to stop thinking we come just too inspire. We are just doing what we do; with what we have. If anything the question is, what are you doing to fulfill your dream?