Car Phone Salesman Sings Opera

Paul PottsWOW!  A dumpy Brit with bad teeth showed up on “Britain’s Got Talent“, sang like an angel, and now will be performing for the Queen.  Simon Cowell was speechless.  There are so many lessons here, I don’t even know which one to choose, but perhaps you should watch this amazing video first before reading on. 

This man’s name is Paul Potts, and he recently won the whole competition and promised to spend some of his 100,000 pound prize on new teeth.

 A letter to the National Review sums up this inspirational story:

His expression before he begins to sing is that of a man resigned to disappointment. Even when he smiles, his eyes convey a profound sadness. He has been a nobody all his life. He, and perhaps only he, knows he has greatness inside of him, but he is obviously a humble man, massively insecure, afraid of rejection, unsure of himself outside the cocoon of anonymity. But you get the feeling he also knows that this may be the one chance he gets to escape the cocoon, and as he begins to sing, you can see him fighting down his fear. I think that is the wellspring of the emotion that pervades his performance. He is fighting against a life of obscurity. By the song’s end, what was an average Joe has stepped up, beaten back his fear, and broken through. In those few seconds, he put the void behind him, and his life will probably be changed forever because he called up the courage at that moment to show what he was really made of. We saw greatness, long denied, finally being born.

It was one of the most heroic things I’ve seen in a long time. My deepest thanks to you for posting it. Truly inspirational. –

Here is the video of his finale performance

And video of his winning moment


31 Responses to Car Phone Salesman Sings Opera

  1. Alex says:

    This guy is really good. I would love to see him go head to head with Paul Balcombe. Have you ever heard him sing opera?

    If Paul took his opera singing serious he could be really good as well.

  2. itsasecret2u says:

    My husband played these videos for me yesterday. I cried at each one. (I guess I’m an opera fan…)

    So Britian gets the amazing opera singer on their talent show and we get… The Human Slinky on America’s Got Talent.

  3. Franky says:

    This was also amazing. He following performances were not quite as great, but…

  4. itsasecret2u says:

    Thanks for the link fixage. I’m not so good at remembering how to do that…

  5. Bruce S. says:

    I heard him last night on youtube via Big D’s insistence. Here’s what I thought. He’s better than Bocelli – who I think makes a lot of mileage due to his blindness. But I would have liked to have heard the cell phone guy on some more challenging stuff. The market for operatic tenors is pretty small. So I am not predicting a stellar opera career as yet.

    Imagine how wild the chicks would have been had he walked out on stage with a yellow lab.

  6. amyleesspace says:

    He actually sounded amazing! I am not a fan of opera, I suppose I don’t get it really.

    He sound wonderful though!

    **side note** have you seen Shrek 2, well when Shrek turns into a human, this gentleman actually kind of looks like Shrek as a man..

    I do have to say the lady in the middle is a much more pleasant site to see than our very own drunken Paula, week after week!

  7. gospelordeath says:


    Opera is like Greek tragedy. It’s all about the spectacle. This is why they sing in Italian, because it sounds gorgeous. Who cares what they’re singing about? It’s all about the spectacle. It’s not about thinking, not at all, just about feeling. It’s about hearing the beautiful sounds, seeing the beautiful sights, and feeling the intense emotions. It is not at all about thinking, so it’s not about analyzing what is being said, or why it is taking place; it’s tragic, and designed to be overdone. The overdone-ness is the point. That’s what I mean by spectacle.

    Yeah, it’s all kind of like a Pentacostal worship service.

    Cordially yours,


  8. gospelordeath says:

    See, and this guy’s story is only going to propel him to stardom. For in the opera, it’s all about the spectacle, and this guy’s story can only add to and enhance the spectacle. The letter Albino quotes above from the National Review illustrates that. Imagine him doing some opera, and an alaysis of his story that looks something like this is in the program, and everyone is reading it before he comes on stage. Then for the audience, it’s in their mind that this guy came out of nowhere, a car phone salesman, and presto, here he is. And the more they know about the emotions – even if it’s somewhat speculative and exaggerated, like the letter to NR that Albino quotes – behind the scenes in the man’s heart, the more the audience will explode with emotion during the performance, feeling not just the beauty of the emotion of the music, but the emotion of the man performing, and what it took for him to get there, performing.

    Oh yes, this man will be a tremendous success in opera, simply because people generally want him to be. His story will give depth to his performance, and that is his great advantage over all others.

    I mean, look at what Secret said. She said she cried at each performance the man gave. Why? Did he just sing that good, or was it because of the story? Perhaps Secret will enlighten us, but you see now that it’s about being presented with intense emotions more than anything else. Secret was moved, not because the man was singing about some horrific tragedy that breaks your heart, but simply because the sound was beautiful, and the story of this guy is remarkable. That’s what opera is all about.

    Again I say that this man will be a huge star in opera. Look out Luciano, here comes…what’s his name? Oh who cares what his name is! Isn’t his story wonderful?

    And now you understand opera.

  9. Um, Echo, you misspelled pentecostal, and you again, mischaracterized an entire segment of the Body of Christ, but you were spot on in your analysis of opera.

  10. danielbalc says:

    I remember this beautiful, moving story. It was really great, really compelling. It brought some people to tears, some people claimed it even “changed their lives”. It was a story where this guy gave his son to save the lives of….

    Never mind; you probably don’t want to hear it because it might make you emotional.

  11. gospelordeath says:

    Albino, having been a Pent-E-costal (thanks) for 20 years, I feel fairly confident that I know what they are about. I have characterized them accurately. Of course, this is according to my perception, so it is only my opinion. Your opinion, likewise, is that I am wrong. That’s ok, but you have offered no reason why I am wrong. So that remains your opinion. I am certainly entitled to present an analysis of a church I was part of for 20 years. I have the right to feel one way or another about it, and to think one way or another about it, because I’m thinking and feeling about my own experiences.

    Daniel, wow, you’ve got me pegged spot on! You’ve got me all figured out. You have clearly demonstrated that you understand my position on so many issues! You’re absolutely right that what I really am is quite stoic and unemotional, cold and unfeeling. I suppose this is my Marine Corps training and discipline. I hate emotion, and think emotions only became a part of us AFTER the fall. I myself have never been emotional at all. I never get angry, never get happy, never get sad, never feel overwhelmed, or anything else that is typically thought of as emotion. And you’re absolutely right – I actually DO secretly hold the opinion that the gospel is dangerous because it is so full of meaning, and that’s dangerous because it may lead to what I think is the greatest evil in the world – emotions! Oh, I hate emotions. I wish we all just lived life with no meaning whatsoever, and never felt anything about anything.

    Is that enough sarcasm for you?

  12. Ok, Echo. Next time, temper your slams on Pentecostals with this phrase, “In my experience…” That will save us a lot of irritation, and you a lot of embarrassment.

  13. danielbalc says:

    Yeah that’s more than enough sarcasm for me.

  14. Lana says:

    I thought all Brits had bad teeth? 😉
    His name, Paul Potts–what an unfortunate reminder of Pol Pot! Surely his mother thought of this, but was inexplicably attached to the name “Paul”?
    The guy has a wonderful talent, and his humility adds heaps of appeal to the formidable emotional quality of his music.

  15. gospelordeath says:


    Didn’t your teachers ever tell you that when you’re writing a paper, you never say, “I think…”? The reason why, of course, is that if it’s your paper, it’s ALL what you think. When I speak, I don’t need to preface it with, “This is my opinion…” The fact that I’m speaking, and I can only speak FROM my experience, since my experience and knowledge is all I can speak according to, means that whatever I’m saying is my opinion, based on my knowledge and my experience.

    Pentecostals are a lot like the opera. Disagree if you want. It’s not an indisputible fact. It’s my opinion. Nonetheless, I’m pretty convinced of it, and I’ve got 20 years of experience with Pentecostals under my belt, so I know them pretty well. This is not an opinion I’ve come to casually without much deep thinking about it. This comes from YEARS of careful thought, searching the Scriptures, and struggling to figure these things out. And now I’ve got a year of seminary under my belt, which only helps me understand things even more clearly. I haven’t arrived at this opinion lightly at all, and I don’t say it lightly either. Dismiss it lightly if you wish, but I will not take your light dismissal lightly. If you really want to change my mind, you’ll have to do much, much better than simply saying that I’m wrong, and that I’ve mischaracterized these people, as if I have somehow misunderstood them, even though I was one of them for 20 years. If you can’t understand a group of people after being one of them for 20 years, when DO you have the right to an opinion, in your estimation? If I don’t have the right to an opinion about matters religious after being a Christian as long as I have been, and after being in seminary for a year – which isn’t the FULL course, but it’s SOMETHING – when DO I have the right to an opinion? Don’t even laymen have the right to an opinion about these matters, and people who have never studied the Bible thoroughly or given it much serious thought? Don’t even they have the right to an opinion? Don’t Pentecostals, who have always been Pentecostals and have never even TRIED another church, don’t they have the right to their opinion about Pentecostals, even though they have absolutely NOTHING to compare it to? Don’t they still have a right to their opinion?

    Pentecostal worship services are like the opera. And I’m not in the least bit embarrassed to say it.

  16. Dude,

    You have 20 years of experience with “a particular Pentecostal group” of “a particular stream of Pentecostalism”. If you think that your experience now makes you able to speak to every Pentecostal group in the body of Christ, you are sadly mistaken. That’s why it’s best to preface remarks with “in my experience”. I, too, recogonize that some Pentecostals are wildly out of whack, just as some who call themselves “reformed” are freakburgers as well. When you make a statement broadbrushing an entire segment of the Body of Christ you display ignorance and, yes, embarrass yourself.

    You definitely have a right to your opinion. I have never deleted a single one of them from my blog. But since we are talking about the Body of Christ, the Church, the precious bride of Jesus Christ, I would urge you to exercise greater care when characterizing her.

    If you think all Pentecostal services are like the opera, you need to get out more.

  17. gospelordeath says:

    And the Roman Church is a false church, and I’ve only been to one mass in my life, not counting weddings and funerals.

  18. Sigh…that’s exactly what a mean. Now you’re creating a moral equivelancy between RC and all Pentecostal churches. Really weak, Echo.

  19. flopitlikeitswarm says:

    I know I am a late comer on this but I must say, this guy is truely amazing! 🙂 As a singer I am not to easily impressed… but he honestly gave me the chills! SO CRAZY! Thanks for posting his story.

  20. gospelordeath says:


    No, I haven’t created (or proclaimed) a moral equivalence between Rome and Pentecostal churches. I made an equivalence between my ability to say the one as well as the other. Speaking of Rome is changing the subject with respect to what church is being spoken of and what is being said about it; but as regards my ability to comment about a church without having gone to every single church, the subject has remained the same.

    However, if you’d like me to discuss the similarities between Pentecostal churches and Rome, I’d be happy to do so. But that’s not why I originally made the comment.

  21. Again, it’s still wiser to say, “In my experience” when speaking of an entire segment of the Body of Christ. I stand by that statement. You are mistaken in the way you characterize ALL Pentecostals. You need to be more careful.

  22. gospelordeath says:

    There are certain distinctive things that people believe that cause them to be placed in the category of “Pentecostal”. There is a list of certain things that if you believe them, you are a Pentecostal. It is these things that are the cause of my statement. If you believe these things, your worship service will be like the opera. I stand by my blanket statement.

  23. Again, you need to get out more.

  24. gospelordeath says:

    What a great answer!

  25. Gregg says:

    Hey everyone. Long time no write!
    This is a very confusing posting. I do not understand the presups y’all are starting with. Albino are you defending emotional responses in worship and Echo is lambasting it?
    Is responding to beauty, in this case through music, inherently wrong? Or are you two just fundementality in disagreement again. I mean I would hate to think that some things changed when I was off line.


  26. Echo is asserting that all Pentecostal worship is like the opera. I am disagreeing. He wrote a more extensive post on his new website (just click his name above).

    Welcome back. I heard the President was at your base.

  27. Gregg says:

    He was. It was kind of cool watching him land about 200 yards from my barracks. it is quite a ordeal for the instillation. We could not stand on the street and watch him go by though- apparently pawns cannot see the king pass by. Sempri Fi!

    When I have a few extra hours (perhaps sometime this weekend) I will read his more extensive posting. Perhaps I will understand what is getting your feather ruffled after reading it.

    For me I see opera as a good thing, music touches the heart and the emotions. As God created us as passionate and emotional beings it is not inherently diabolical to allow these things to be moved. It is the excess of emotions and/or the absense of other aspects of who we are that is the issue. However, I am still reading your response to his hacking on ALL pentecostals. It seems like you’ve been baited. Score one for Echo!

    Well PT at 0 dark 30 so off to bed. Good night.

  28. itsasecret2u says:

    Wow, how did I miss all this?

    I’m so not getting involved in the pentecostal worship = opera discussion, but you asked why I said listening to this guy made me cry. Beautiful music makes me cry (sometimes). There is a part of a particular Beethoven piece that always makes me cry (when played with strings). Is there something strange about that?

  29. itsasecret2u says:

    (I meant to add this up above.)

    It really wasn’t about the story at all, though his story is insipiring. In fact, I think the first time I saw it, I didn’t see his story too. I just remember them saying he was a car phone salesman. Then I saw a more complete clip where he talks about how shy he is and how he lacks confidence, etc. That story increases my desire to see him succeed, but not the beauty of the music. I think that stands alone.

  30. gospelordeath says:


    It’s totally legitimate for the personal drama of his life to enhance the beauty of his singing. Totally legitimate.

    What’s legitimate in the opera is not necessarily legitimate in a worship service.

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