Wowing the crowds: Shaheen Jafarghol, 12, stunned the judges and the audience with his rendition of Michael Jackson’s Who’s Loving You on Britain’s Got Talent
A curt word from Simon Cowell has reduced grown men to tears.
But after a false start 12 year-old Shaheen Jafargholi bravely delivered a stand out performance and forced the music mogul to eat his words on Britain’s Got Talent.
More than 13 million viewers tuned in to see the schoolboy deliver the remarkable performance of Michael Jackson’s Who’s Loving You on ITV – making it the most watched programme of the year so far.
Scroll down to see a video of Shaheen’s performance
Shaheen was initially silenced by Cowell after he began the audition singing Valerie, which was made famous by Amy Winehouse.
The youngster sang the first few lines nervously before he was interrupted by the judge, who said: ‘You got this really wrong.’
He then asked the youngster to try another song and he chose the Motown classic, prompting a rapturous response from the audience.
Cowell declared he was the best young pop singer he had seen in ten years, while the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Standing ovation: Piers Morgan, Amanda Holden and Simon Cowell rose to their feet after Shaheen’s performance. Amanda said he gave her goosebumps
Fellow judge Amanda Holden compared him to previous winners Paul Potts and George Sampson, saying she had goosebumps listening to the performance.
Shaheen, who was brought up by his single mother Karen Thomas in Swansea, said: ‘Since the day I was born I have always wanted to sing. I would love to be a big recording artist. I would love to be as famous as Michael Jackson.’
Speaking of his false start on the show, Shaheen told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I was thinking, “Uh oh, is this my chance gone?” But then afterwards I just felt so special and blessed when Simon gave me a second chance.
‘I know I can sing but I didn’t know I was able to sing that well in front of the god of the music industry, Simon Cowell.’
Congratulations: Shaheen’s delighted mother Karen and presenter Ant McPartlin meet him backstage
It has emerged that the Welsh schoolboy almost did not take part in the show.
He had to persuade his mother that he was not too young to enter the talent contest.
The singer from Swansea was banned from auditioning for last year’s show at the age of ten by his mother Karen.
But she relented for this series after he had shown his maturity by starring as a young Michael Jackson in the stage musical Thriller Live.
Meet and greet: Britain’s Got Talent hosts Ant and Dec chat to the schoolboy
Shaheen did a six-week run with the show in Wales and went to Germany, Holland and Ireland on tour.
Shaheen, who has also had minor roles in BBC dramas Casualty and Torchwood, has been singing from the age of five.
He goes to the Mark Jermin Stage School in Swansea on Saturdays, and friends told him he would be a hit on Britain’s Got Talent.
Shaheen said: ‘I was watching the show last year with my mum and without thinking I just blatantly came out and said, “I want to go on that show.”
Delight: The 12-year-old beams at the judges’ resoundingly good comments
‘We disagreed about it. I was only ten at the time and I think she was right.
‘She said if I went on at an older age I would enjoy it more.’
Karen said: ‘People wanted him to go on Britain’s Got Talent but I didn’t think he was old enough. He was still in junior school, and now he can handle feedback a bit better.
‘They can be quite critical and I think he can handle it now. He’s very mature.
‘He understands you can have negative comments but they help you improve yourself.
‘I’m not one of those parents who lives their dreams through their children. This is Shaheen’s hobby, he just loves performing.’
Shaheen’s audition on Britain’s Got Talent has already been watched more than 100,000 times online.
It is only the second episode of the current series but already Britain’s Got Talent has already hit the headlines.
Singing sensation Susan Boyle’s audition in episode one has become a global sensation, with 25 million watching it on YouTube.
Miss Boyle, who is unemployed and lives alone with her cat, stunned audiences and the judges with her rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from Les Miserables.
Her dowdy appearance and unfortunate gait prompted laughter from the audience but her singing talent has made her a worldwide phenomenon.
The Scottish performer has been inundated with interview requests and has made appearances on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, and is likely to be interview by daytime chat show queen Oprah.
Boyle is already favourite to win the competition which sees the winner secure £100,000 and perform in front of the Queen at the Royal Variety Performance.
But Cowell has insisted the competition is still wide open.
‘There are some acts that you haven’t seen yet, it’s not quite the one horse race you are going to think this is,’ he said in a recent interview.