The 11-year-old Asanda Jezile may have walked away from the Britain’s Got Talent reality show without the crown, but she managed to get notoriously difficult judge Simon Cowell’s attention.
British-born Asanda, whose parents moved to the UK from the Eastern Cape more than 10 years ago, sang her idol Beyoncé’s If I Were a Boy during the series finale on Saturday night.
But it wasn’t enough to take the title and the R3.5 million prize. Hungarian shadow theatre group Attraction won the show with their tribute to Great Britain.
Although Asanda had the least percentage of public votes in the finale, 1.2 percent, it is possible she secured a record deal with the help of Cowell, who said she had the “best smile” he’d ever seen, according to a tweet from an account claiming to be Asanda’s.
Cowell had said of her singing: “Forget how old you are, if you’ve got it, you’ve got it…You’re good for someone who’s 30 or 40.”
Some of Asanda’s South African fans showed their support on her Facebook page, which had more than 350 likes.
“A star in the making, Mr Mandela would be proud,” one user wrote.
Asanda was commended by judges throughout the series for her commanding stage presence and bubbly personality. She said in an ITV interview that she wanted to teach the queen to be a diva, “and she can teach me her posh accent”.