A MAN from Rhyl was given the surprise of his life when he thought he was turning up for work, only to be flown to a Britain’s Got Talent audition in a helicopter with Simon Cowell.

Elias Jones, a 29-year-old mechanic, was asked one Sunday morning in February if he could come to the track at Glan Y Gors Park in Snowdonia for work, but had, in fact, been nominated as a “surprise act” for the talent show by his mum, Olga.

Having known nothing about his audition just hours earlier, Elias went on to perform an acapella version of “You Will Be Found” from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”.

It earned him a standing ovation from a packed crowd at The Lowry theatre in Manchester, and “yes” votes from each of the four judges.

Rhyl Journal: Elias meeting Simon CowellElias meeting Simon Cowell (Image: Elias Jones)


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Sadly, Elias’ audition was not shown on TV, nor did he make it through to the show’s semi-finals, but that took little away from a “mesmerising” experience which came entirely out of the blue.

Elias said: “I got to the track, and there was a film crew waiting there. They told me that my driver was coming in a helicopter, and they were filming for MoneySuperMarket.

“As the helicopter landed, and Simon stepped out, I didn’t have a clue what was happening. He came and stood next to me, and said: ‘Are you Elias?’.

“I said: ‘Yes; how do you know that?’, and he said: ‘You’re not working today; you’ll be coming with me to audition for Britain’s Got Talent in a couple of hours’ time’.

“I was just speechless. I don’t think he’d ever gone out of his way to meet a contestant like that before; it was just a shock.”

Rhyl Journal: Elias at his audition with his partner, BethanElias at his audition with his partner, Bethan (Image: Elias Jones)

Elias said that he often sang as a child, but never in front of anyone.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, though, he began shared videos of him singing on social media, which garnered a positive reaction.

Singing, he said, impacted positively on his mental health in the pandemic, during which time he had suffered the heartache of losing his stepfather and two of his friends.

His mum had snuck up behind Simon Cowell before joining them in the helicopter, with friends and more relatives meeting Elias in Manchester.

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Rhyl Journal: Elias at his audition with his sister, Elena, and his mum, OlgaElias at his audition with his sister, Elena, and his mum, Olga (Image: Elias Jones)

Elias added: “I performed my song, but was interrupted by Simon raising his hand and asking me to perform it acapella.

“I then grabbed the microphone, closed my eyes for a second, and remembered how long I had waited for this shot and what my purpose is.

“The sold-out theatre went silent and I gave them a performance of a lifetime, where I was given a full standing ovation with all four judges on their feet; it was a feeling I will never forget.

“Even the next day, I was still pinching myself. I was thinking: ‘Why me’? It didn’t make sense. I’d never performed in front of anyone, and The Lowry was packed.

“I had my dirty work clothes on in a helicopter with Simon Cowell; everything was just mesmerising.”