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Sarah Ikumu impresses UK on Britain’s Got Talent

15-year-old daughter of Kenyan immigrants advances to semifinal

Sarah Ikumu, 15, impressed judge Simon Cowell as Britain's Got Talent returned to the TV screens (Syco/Thames ITV/PA)

Britain’s Got Talent ended with a shocker on Saturday night’s episode, as Sarah Ikumu was awarded the Golden Buzzer by notoriously tough judge Simon Cowell. Ikumu, only 15 years old, impressed the judges and the show’s audience with an amazing performance of “And I Am Telling You”, originally from the film Dreamgirls. She sported a simple outfit of a beige jumper and jeans, but by the time the song ended, the London Palladium audience gave her a standing ovation. The Golden Buzzer awarded by Cowell automatically earns her a spot in the show’s semifinal.

Cowell said of Ikumu’s performance, “I have heard that song a lot. I thought it started great and then it’s like you became possessed halfway through, it was quite incredible.” Fellow judges Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams also expressed their awe at Ikumu’s voice. Other acts that will join Ikumu in the semi-final include an eight-year-old comedian and a dancing police officer.

Ikumu is from Milton Keynes, but her parents immigrated to Great Britain from Kenya. Ikumu also spent two and a half years in Kenya as a youngster, and won several singing competitions there. She has also won local talent shows, including Milton Keynes’ Young Musician of the Year competition, and participated in London’s “Youngstars” showcase for under-18 singers. Ikumu was encouraged to pursue her singing career by her parents since she began as a five-year-old member of her church choir. Her parents were actually in the audience when she broke into the British mainstream on Saturday. Ikumu is currently in Year 11 of school, but is seriously working on a musical career. She has an official Facebook page as an artist, as well as several professionally produced music videos of cover songs she has recorded, such as “Think” by Aretha Franklin and “Where We Were Young” by Adele.

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