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Shayy on American Idol: Blind contestant Shayla Winn wows judges with Rise Up by Andra Day

Shayla Winn during her American Idol audition
Shayla Winn is headed to Hollywood on American Idol. Pic credit: ABC

Shayla Winn walked into the American Idol audition thinking she would not advance, but she walked out with a lot of praise and a ticket to Hollywood. Her rendition of Rise Up brought Lionel Richie to tears and got all of the judges on their feet.

It was her story that pulled at American Idol viewers’ hearts. Shayla was walked into the audition because just a year prior, she went legally blind. Despite all of the trials and tribulations in her life, Shayy was able to impress the entire panel.

What happened to Shayla Winn?

When her story was told, Shayla Winn talked about how she went blind. After some medical issues, Shayy learned that she had a brain tumor following a scan. She had been experiencing some issues and felt like glasses were the answer. When Shayy went for testing, it turned out to be much more.

Following a successful removal of 50 percent of her brain tumor, Shayla was unable to keep her eyesight. Instead of wallowing, she decided she needed to live her life.

Shayy talked about her peers being cruel to her, even pulling at or throwing things at her cane. Now, she is teaching everyone a lesson about kindness.

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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

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American Idol audition

Her rendition of Rise Up was amazing. She got all of the judges on their feet and drew tears out of two of them. Shayla had control over her voice throughout the song and when she belted those notes out, it was all viewers could do not to cry.

Goosebumps came from listening to Shayla Winn on American Idol, and she may be able to dominate in the rounds moving forward.

American Idol returns Sunday, March 10 at 8/7c on ABC.


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