Twenty-five-year-old Filipina singer Katchry Jewel Golbin, also known as Alienette Coldfire, had the judges of La France a un Incroyable Talent (France Got Talent) in tears on Tuesday with her rendition of Les Miserables’ “I Dreamed A Dream” in French no less. Golbin, who just so happens to be blind, was sent off to the competition’s next round with a lengthy standing ovation from the judges and the live audience.
In perfect French, Golbin told the panel she is originally from the Philippines and learned how to speak their language with the help of online friends for three years.
“I learned with my friends through the Internet. When I heard Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vien En Rose,’ I wanted to understand the lyrics. That’s how I learned French,” the lass from Iloilo said.
The only female out of the four judges, French singer Helena Segara Helene was in tears through the last half of Golbin’s performance. “Thank you, it means so much…” said the celebrity.
Gag show Just For Laughs founder Gilbert Rozon was just as touched by the performance. “I’m usually cold-blooded but now, I’m emotional. You have a gift from angels,” he said.
French illusionist Eric Antoine next remarked, “I’m speechless. From the first note, I got chills. It’s rare for me to not know what to say, I do not know what to say, your strength and vulnerability is absolutely sublime.”
Even if she’s visually impaired, Golbin said she is out to prove she can succeed in whatever she sets her heart, mind—and in this case, her voice—to.
“At home [in the Philippines], it is said that the blind are unable to do great things. They are wrong. There is always another way to live like everyone else.”
Golbin may already be familiar to some netizens as her YouTube video singing Mariah Carey’s “I’ll Be There” effortlessly in a mall videoke outlet went viral two years ago.
With her impressive audition this week, Golbin’s fame can now be likened to that of Rose Fostanes on X Factor Israel, Marlisa Punzalan and Cyrus Villanueva on X Factor Australia, and the 4th Impact on X Factor UK, making Filipinos all over the world ecstatic at the prospect of another compatriot hogging the limelight in the international music scene.
Incidentally, Golbin joined GMA Network’s talent search Pinoy Idol in 2008 but failed to make it to Top 12.
Singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, who was one of the judges of the show, came forward of late and said he is a fan of the blind Filipina singer, revealing that Golbin was invited by France Got Talent to join the show in 2014, but was unable to get a visa. With his wife Regine Velasquez, Alcasid sought the assistance of Solenn Heussaff and her French father for help at the embassy in Manila, and Golbin was granted a visa in just a matter of days.