Simon Cowell has shown he is anything but that, after hinting he planned to pay the £78,000 fee needed by a Britain’s Got Talent hopeful for life-altering surgery. The media mogul, 57 years old, admitted he would not be able to live with himself if he didn’t do something to help 15 years old Julia Carlile, who may never be able to dance again without the surgery.
The music mogul told ‘There’s no way I would ever have her [Julia] on this show and say, it’s all just about winning the £250,000. I couldn’t do that. You would do the same thing. You get letters, you get calls. You have to draw the line at a certain point. But I think if someone comes on in this situation, to do nothing would be, well, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. You create a connection and I think with us, in this particular case, I think there is something we can do. There’s no way I would ever say ‘Right, you came second, so it’s all over’.
Earlier this week Alesha Dixon’s golden buzzer act MerseyGirls, originally known as Just Us, soared through to the Britain’s Got Talent finals after reducing her to tears with their emotional routine. One of the dancers, named Julia, has scoliosis which could stop her from dancing again in later life and she previously revealed that she would need $100,000 to fix her spine. She is now one step closer to pocketing £250,000 top prize along with her troupe. Singing pensioners, The Pensionalities, also made the final on Thursday’s show.
The dance troupe, which consists of Annie and Alice both 17 years old, Rebecca 16 years old, Alice’s sister Julia 15 years old and 14 years old Poppy, left Alesha in tears with their performance. She told ‘That was beautiful, I loved it, that dance was stunning, you have a great message for all the girls out there to stick together.’
Amanda Holden said ‘You girls come alive when you’re dancing. It was gorgeous, girls.
Simon Cowell was also impressed as he promised them that this would not be the end of their journey and hinted he would pay for the surgery. He said ‘Whatever happens, we’re going to make sure you end up in a great place, don’t worry.’ Julia was born with curvature of the spine, or scoliosis and is set to have surgery once her time on the show is over.
Because the procedure involves inserting titanium rods into base of the spine, her movement will be restricted, which means her dancing career will almost certainly be over. There is a glimmer of hope, a special operation available in America would allow Julia to continue performing, but she can afford it only if the group wins the talent contest and she gets her share of the £250,000 top prize. After the auditions, Julia said ‘There is an operation called tethering surgery but it’s too expensive. After that you can actually dance, but we just couldn’t afford it. It costs around $100,000 and it’s in America, but if we won Britain’s Got Talent then I could possibly have it and then dance for the rest of my life.’
Speaking ahead of her semi final performance, the talented teen admitted that she had been approached by strangers who had offered to pay for the life-changing surgery. In fact, leading spinal surgeon Evan Davies offered to help the BGT finalist on Friday, after hearing about her story. Mr Davies, who is a spinal surgeon at Southampton Children’s Hospital, told ‘I am confident we can help Julia so would like to offer her and her family the chance to speak with me and my team. If Julia’s family can get her x-rays and scans to me, I will review them and discuss with them what options are available to her.’ He told the surgery may change how Julia dances but should not stop her from doing what she loves.