Injured Iraqi orphan wows X Factor judges, but was previously rejected as a contestant

Emmanuel Kelly, an Iraqi orphan whose limbs were damaged by chemical warfare, wowed Australia’s X Factor‘s judges with his performance last night, but he was, unbelievably, rejected from both Australia’s Got Talent and X Factor last year.

His audition of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which is below, resulted in a standing ovation but isn’t quite one of those now near-cliche auditions where someone who looks like an unlikely singer and has a disproportionately amazing voice. But what is surprising is that it took him this long to find his way to television because of both his story and his talent. (One of the judges said, “compared to the other people here, regardless of your story, you have a beautiful gift.”)

The Telegraph reports that he “auditioned for Australia’s Got Talent last year but did not make it on to the show,” while the AAP reports that he “auditioned for last year’s [X Factor] show but failed to make it through.”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.