One of the most inspiring stories from the last season of Britain's Got Talent was the MerseyGirls and their heartbreaking motivation to fight for the show's top prize.
A group of teenage dancers, the MerseyGirls wowed the judges - they got a Golden Buzzer to the live shows - and definitely had the skills to win the competition. But they had more reasons than most contestants to try and make it to the finals.
One of the MerseyGirl dancers, 15-year-old Julia Carlile, desperately needed money for an important surgery. Since age 6, Carlile has lived with scoliosis, or a curved spine. Along with being painful, the condition threatened to end her career as a dancer before it had really begun.
To keep dancing, Carlile would need an expensive surgery in America, which her family couldn't afford. MerseyGirls hoped to win the competition and use the $300,000 prize money to fund her operation.
The girls were fierce competitors, and made it all the way to the show's final rounds, where Julia back-flipped and cartwheeled along with the rest of her troupe. But she tearfully revealed to the judges that "this could be my last performance with the girls before my surgery, which is a really scary thought.”
In a heartbreaking turn of events the MerseyGirls came in 9th place, meaning that Carlile could not afford the surgery after all. But when they left the stage for the last time Simon Cowell met the dancers backstage, and he had some incredible news.
Find out how Julia is doing now on the next page!
After the show, Simon showed his nicer side and revealed he was willing to pay for Carlile's surgery.
It may come as a shock to fans who still think of Simon as totally heartless, but he says that “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."
While Simon doesn't plan on handing out cash to anyone who asks for it, he says that in this situation he "couldn’t look at myself in the mirror" if he did nothing.
“There’s no way I would ever say: ‘Right, you came second, so it’s all over’," he added.
Since then Julia has traveled to America for a pair of surgeries, and she's already back on her feet and showing off her dance moves for the camera.
"There are no words to thank him for how grateful we are," she told the Sun about Simon's generosity. "It's just unbelievable. It does not feel real."
While it's not clear just how much the surgeries and travel costs added up to, it seems Cowell spent as much as $200,000 to help Carlile.
Share this story to prove that Cowell isn't such a bad guy after all!
[H/T: The Sun]