There are plenty of talent shows out there, but the best ones are about more than just a stellar performance.
We want to be moved. We want our heartstrings tugged. This, after all, is what leads us to root for certain contestants, right?
“American Idol” season 17 has showcased more than a few good stories. Alejandro Aranda wowed us when we learned the dishwasher has only been playing music for four years.
Madison VanDenburg had Lionel Richie questioning her true age when she told him she was only 16. Now another teen has graced the audition stage, and we’re pretty sure you won’t be able to keep from bawling.
Shayy Winn is just 17 and hails from Midlothian, Virginia. About a year ago, Winn started experiencing some vision trouble.
View this post on Instagram
After visiting her eye doctor, the teen was sent to the emergency room where a brain tumor was discovered. At that point, her vision had already started to decline.
Winn was diagnosed with hydrocephalus, a condition that causes too much fluid to build up in her brain and her optic nerves to swell.
“Once I got back into school, that was the bad part,” Winn said before her audition. She explained how other kids would bully her and even kick her cane.
But Winn has learned to see the positive side of things. She expressed she has good friends and other people in her life who love and support her.
View this post on Instagram
Nerves have been a roller coaster this past year and 1/2 from Shayla’s surgery, to her impairment, to her musical / theater journey and more!!!! So thankful for wonderful family, friends, and support!!!! Thankful that Shayla has continued in her passions and not stumbled. I (her Mom) had a theme for 2018: it was “Stand Up for Something”. Though it hasn’t always been easy for her: I’m extremely proud of my baby for continuing to Stand Tall for herself and for Others!!!! Whether it was strutting her cane, or thru her dance, or thru her voice, or thru her grades: She Did Her (even when people told her she couldn’t)!!!! Don’t forget to watch her journey on American Idol. She airs on March 6th on ABC!! Tune in for the start of American Idol on March 3rd!!! #americanidol
“It’s a whole other side to life that I never knew about,” she said. “I had people that were in my corner, trying to help me learn. I was making the best light of what I had been dealt.”
Now that light might just include her experience on “American Idol.” When Winn arrived at her audition and shared her story with the judges, Luke Bryan offered to pray for her.
“We’ll pray for you,” Bryan said. “And pray for the doctors and pray that technology can get your sight back.”
Winn certainly has the backstory that makes us want to vote for her before hearing her sing. Of course, Winn just seals the deal with her amazing voice.
Listen as she sings “Rise Up” by Andra Day. You don’t need to see to know this girl has something truly special.
When Lionel Richie began to tear up, I lost it. This may just be the most emotional “American Idol” audition yet!
“You have wrecked me,” Richie said. Bryan even teased him and said, “Lionel, you look like you’re walking a daughter down the aisle.”
To make it even more meaningful, Richie gave the teen a hug.
“It’s the power of the Spirit,” Richie said. “And you’re a reminder (of) just how blessed we are.”
We can’t wait to see Shayy in Hollywood! To keep up to date with her journey, follow her on Instagram at @shaylashayywinn.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.