Simon Cowell Moved To Tears After Watching Heartbreaking ‘X Factor’ Audition

Sep 15, 2023 by apost team

In 2015, on the stage of "The X Factor," Josh Daniel, a car mechanic, captivated the world with his moving rendition of Labrinth's "Jealous." Little did he know that this performance would not only make him a fan favorite but also leave a lasting impact on one of the show's toughest judges, Simon Cowell.

Daniel, who auditioned during the second season at the age of 22, dedicated his soulful performance to his childhood friend, Thomas Woolley, who tragically passed away in a car crash at just 18 years old. His heartfelt rendition of the song left both the judges and the audience deeply moved. 

Cowell, known for his tough exterior and harsh criticisms of the contestants, couldn't hold back his tears as he witnessed the audition. His emotional reaction was due to the recent loss of his mother, Julie, who passed away at the age of 89 just days before Daniel walked onto the stage. Julie was an avid fan of "The X Factor," and she was a strong influence in Cowell's decision to return to work despite his grief.

During Daniel's performance, Simon's eyes welled up with tears, and he struggled to contain his emotions. The poignant lyrics of the song, which touched on themes of loss and longing, hit close to home for both men. 

The R&B track "Jealous" was released in 2014 under Cowell's music label Syco. Labrinth composed the song with Josh Kear and Natalie Hemby in Nashville. In an interview with MTV, Labrinth, whose real name is Timothy Lee McKenzie, said that the song, described as a "heart-breaking ballad," was about a parent who left him when he was just 4 years old. He knew that a lot of people could relate to the song because many have gone through grief.

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When Daniel auditioned, he had no idea of Cowell's loss and grief; thus he was also surprised by the judge’s emotional reaction. 

"The lyrics kinda said, 'I'm jealous that you're happy without me,' and I kinda see it in the sense that I'm jealous that he's now happy in heaven, that he's moved on to a better place," Daniel said in his intro video for "The X Factor."

Cowell's emotional breakdown became much talked about after the show, and he admitted that he did have a hard time watching the audition because it brought back the sad feelings. 

"The contestant didn’t know the situation. He wasn’t doing it to make me upset. He sang the song for his own reasons," Cowell said. "It was more important that he did a good audition. But it was very raw and it did take me back to the moment, but I think in quite a healthy way. Being upset is a human thing.”

Despite not making it to the live shows in the singing competition, Daniel's early exit turned out to be a blessing in disguise. He continued to pursue his passion for music, releasing a cover version of "Jealous" and creating original material for his debut single "Nowhere to Hide." 

He released music through his own company, JD Media, where one of his singles, "All I Have," reached number 13 on the iTunes chart.

While Daniel's music career was taking off, he showcased his versatility as a multifaceted talent. He ventured into the business world in 2018, co-founding Schott Packaging with his best friend and business partner, Tom Schott. Their company provides moving kits for those relocating their homes or offices. With dedication and hard work, Schott Packaging snowballed, boasting a projected $1.38 million turnover in a short period.

Josh Daniel did well in his audition, and Simon Cowell’s reaction was a rare TV moment! Did this audition tug at the heartstrings for you? Pass this heartstring-tugging audition with family and friends, and let them in on this rare, touching TV moment!

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