Singing is an emotional art. When a singer's voice flows together with the music in just the right way, the two combine to make something truly beautiful. A great musical performance connects and resonates with the audience on a deep level, making them feel things they've never felt before. This is what happened on a recent episode of The Voice: South Africa, when Vernon Barnard brought the judges to tears with his powerful rendition of One Direction's "Story of My Life."
Vernon was born with glaucoma, an eye condition in which the nerve connecting the brain to the eye is damaged. This results in blindness for most patients. Early in life, Vernon could see pretty well, but after undergoing 16 operations before the age of five, the glaucoma finally took its toll and robbed him of his sight. Losing your sight at such an early age would be enough to silence even the most talented voice, but Vernon didn't let that stop him from pursuing his passion of singing.
The judges, especially Bobby van Jaarsveld, were unprepared for Vernon's moving performance, and when you watch it you'll understand why. Before he even turns around in his chair, Bobby is visibly shaken by the song Vernon is singing. Once he finally turns around and sees Vernon, Bobby can't hold back his tears, with another judge even getting out of her seat to go comfort him. After the performance, Bobby went so far as to get down on his hands and knees to beg Vernon to join his team. We're so glad that programs like The Voice exist, because they allow singers with different backgrounds to share the same stage and show the world what they've got. Thank you, Vernon Barnard, for sharing the story of your life with us.