At auditions on Tuesday evening, Hope from Sydney, Australia, first played the silent guy, before revealing a voice that had Simon Cowell and Co. in ecstasy.
Playing in an exotic black dress and a shimmering mask that could have been removed from Prince’s vault, Riley lit the torch with a dramatic rendition of Billie Eilish’s « idontwannabeyouanymore ».
Riley later explained his quiet start. He preferred to let his performance speak.
Cowell then praises the mystery and originality of Riley. “You have an incredible voice,” Howie Mandel enthused. “And the fact that I don’t know what you look like, and the costume and the drama, for me, is what made it great,”
Riley is no mystery to the die-hards of Australian reality TV.
The son of an Australian mother and a Filipino father, Riley (real name Sheldon Hernandez), amassed a sequel during his run The Voice Australia in 2018, winning a place in the last four. He returned to the series last year as an All-Star and competed for a chance to represent Australia at the 64th Eurovision Song Contest.
With three “yes” EIGHT judges, we’ll see more of Riley. Watch the performance below.