Armless toe pianist wins 'China's Got Talent'
SHANGHAI – A musician who lost both arms in a childhood accident and plays the piano with his toes has won "China's Got Talent," performing his version of James Blunt's wistful love song "You're Beautiful" to a packed audience at the Shanghai Stadium.
All three judges on the show Sunday praised 23-year-old Liu Wei for his determination, urging him to keep on pursuing his dreams, and the Beijing native said he would try, quipping, "At least I have a pair of perfect legs."
For winning the Chinese version of the show that helped make Britain's Susan Boyle a singing star, Liu will be invited to play as a guest performer with Taiwanese singer Jolin Tsai. He also has the chance for a performing contract.
Liu's arms were amputated after he suffered an electrical shock while playing hide-and-seek when he was 10. At age 18, he decided to pursue a career in music, using his feet to play the piano, much as he uses them to navigate on the computer, eat, dress and brush his teeth.
"China's Got Talent," a weekly program shown on local channel Dragon TV, has helped draw attention to the hopes and challenges of disabled and otherwise disadvantaged Chinese. It featured scores of acts, including a 7-year-old standup comedian, Zhang Fengxi, who won second place.
The program, which began in July, is part of British recording executive Simon Cowell's "Got Talent" franchise, which now has versions broadcasting in more than 30 countries.