Can-Do-Ability: Answers and Solutions from my personal experiences of living with a disability

Rachael Leahcar blitzes her 'Blind Audition'

19 Apr 2012It seems that reality shows have taken the modern world by storm, with shows like Next Top Model, The Biggest Loser, Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, Master Chef and The Amazing Race, we can’t get away from them, even if we wanted to. The latest musical show, which is shaping up to becoming one of the most popular, just began in Australia.

The Voice, is the most recent reality style talent show, to hit our shores. Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, The Voice, which started in the US, originally based on a similar show from Holland, began on Australia’s Channel 9, earlier this week, to rave reviews.

All you had to do was check Facebook one night this week, to see how many Aussie fans were already beginning to grow, with comments like ‘Loving The Voice’ and ‘The Voice is my new favourite show!’, even if you weren’t watching it, the hype alone, was enough to get you wondering what all the fuss was about.

The Australian version of the show consists of 4 coaches, Australian country singer, Keith Urban, Australian singer/songwriter, Delta Goodrem, part of American duo, Good Charlotte’s, Joel Madden, and UK singer, Seal.

The coaches have to battle it out against each other, to win over the best performers, to make up their team of 12. The stars all sit in a large red swivel chair that faces the audience members, while contestants come out onto the stage one by one, to sing a song of their choice.

With their back to the performers, all the coaches have to go on, is the contestants voice. Once they decide that they like what they are hearing, and think they could work well with them, they press a big red button, which swivels their chair around, revealing to them, the person who belongs to the powerful voice which attracted them. If they are the only person to turn around, the singer automatically belongs to them, if more than one turns around, then the singer gets to choose which star they want to mentor them, throughout the competition. If no-one turns around, the journey ends then and there, for that contestant.

During Monday night’s show, one of the contestants brought a whole new meaning to the concept ‘blind auditions’. A gorgeous, petite, 18 year old, Rachael Leahcar, was brought out onto the stage, by one of the shows crew members. Rachael is legally blind, and usually requires a cane, to assist her with mobility.

Rachael was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which is a deteriorating condition of the Retina. This has always affected Rachael, and will one day, take her sight away completely.

Once Rachael was placed in the right position on the stage, she began to sing ‘La Vie En Rose’ which takes a singer with a great voice, for it to be successfully performed. Within the first ten seconds of belting out the ballad, the audience began listening with tears streaming down their faces.

Joel and Delta were the first two to turn around, followed by Seal, then Keith. Delta immediately began to cry once she saw Rachael.

After her performance, Rachael, who’s from Adelaide in South Australia, confessed that she didn’t even know if any of the coaches had turned around during her performance, because she was legally blind. This caused more tears to flow from Delta, which continued while she told Rachael that she could relate to her, at her age, because at 18, Delta was battling cancer, just as her career was taking off.

Rachael told Delta that she had been a huge inspiration to her, and she wouldn’t be able to sing the way she did, if it wasn’t for her, so she wanted her as her coach and mentor. Delta graciously accepted, rushing up to the stage to give Rachael a big hug, before walking her off the stage, down the stairs.

Delta joined Rachael, along with her mother and father who were waiting eagerly backstage, to congratulate them on Rachael’s achievements. They too weren’t able to keep their eyes dry, as they watched their daughter turn one of her dreams into reality, live, before her nation.

Rachael said that she didn’t want to be known as the blind girl who can sing, but as a singer, who happens to be blind. And all four coaches proved that they chose her for her voice, and not for her disability, which is a refreshing change for people with disabilities everywhere, who are typically judged first, based on what is physically different about them, from their first impression.

If you missed the episode of The Voice Australia, with Rachael Leahcar, or you would like to see it again, you can click here: http://thevoice.ninemsn.com.au/video/catchuptv or, you can just watch Rachael’s amazing performance on Youtube, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVHl3j31pUA

Delta walks Rachael backstage

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