68-year-old Matt Dodd brought the house down on Ireland’s Got Talent with his huge voice on the Tom Jones classic “I (Who Have Nothing)”. He turned up onstage looking dapper in a classy suit, and his voice sounded equally timeless on the soul hit, showcasing both raw power as well as a smooth tone.
Despite not being a professional, Dodd held the audience in the palm of his hand with an assertive stage presence. He had the judges on the edge of their seats and created a real buzz in the room as he brought the song to its dramatic conclusion. Dodd’s audition is one of the most popular videos on the Ireland’s Got Talent YouTube channel, with 8.1 million views racked up.
When he hit the stage, Dodd explained that he takes care of seniors at a Ballyfermot adult day care centre, and that he enjoys singing to them on the bus each morning. He then revealed that he took his shot at the Got Talent stage because during a family lunch “one of the grandchildren said, ‘grandad would you not go for that’, and here I am.”
Judge Louis Walsh enthusiastically weighed in afterwards, saying “It’s a brilliant voice. You hit every single note.” He then asked why Dodd wasn’t already a big star, to which the singer quipped “I didn’t meet you all yet.” Michelle Visage was also a big fan, saying “You didn’t even have to try. That gift is very rare. You don’t get that a lot – you have something very special. In the semi-final Dodd went for a change of pace, singing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Love Changes Everything”.
Visage also admitted she was “so jealous of those beautiful people who you drive around, who get to hear your beautiful voice every day. They are blessed.” Dodd was visibly affected when judge Denise Van Outen declared “I think we’ve just found a new superstar for Ireland. It was powerful, it was passionate, it was pretty perfect. It blew my mind – it was just fantastic. Seriously, your voice!”
Jason Byrne agreed, saying “That was a massive voice. It was really, really big.” He then asked if Dodd sings anywhere else, to which the singer said he only sings around town in pubs and karaoke bars. Byrne was shocked, saying “Oh no man, you’re a star. You belong somewhere else – you belong in a much bigger place.” Walsh then wrapped up the judge’s comments by declaring “Matthew I am delighted that you came along today, because you’re the best voice we’ve heard on this competition.”
Dodd then got four yes votes from the judges, sending him through to the next round. He then went to celebrate with his family on the side of the stage. In later rounds he sang two musical numbers, “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables and “Love Changes Everything”, before being eliminated in the semi-finals.