Armless Pianist Wins China's Top Talent Show
Liu Wei, 23, won the contest after stunning a live audience at the Shanghai Stadium with his rendition of the popular James Blunt song "You're Beautiful." Dressed in an all-white tuxedo with a bow tie, Liu sang the lyrics in English while accompanying himself on piano -- with his toes.
The performance capped the first season of "China's Got Talent," the latest international spin-off of a popular British TV show hosted by Simon Cowell, who went on to start "American Idol." The show airs on China's Dragon TV.
After Liu's performance on Sunday, the TV show's judges praised him and urged him to keep pursuing his dreams. The pianist responded by saying he would try. "At least I have a pair of perfect legs," he said, according to The Daily Record of Scotland.
The paper said that Liu, who is from Beijing, is being compared to Susan Boyle, the middle-aged, unemployed Scottish spinster who became a global phenomenon last year after stunning the judges on "Britain's Got Talent" with her rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables."
Liu's arms had to be amputated when he was 10, after he suffered a severe electric shock from contact with a high-voltage wire while playing hide-and-seek. It was only five years ago, at age 18, that he began playing the piano with his feet after mastering other tasks like brushing his teeth and using a computer, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"I really do not care how people regard me," he told China's Xinhua news agency. "It is enough for me to do the things I like. When other people express their regret and sorrow because I lost both arms, I can tell them confidently that I have perfect feet," he said.