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Maria went blind at the age of 9 due to an illness. The family doctor warned her mother that the only job that would be open to Maria in the future would be that of a telephone operator. He didn’t count on Maria’s strength of character. She had nothing against telephone operators, but she passionately wanted to be a singer and nothing was going to stop her! Her disability in no way prevented her from achieving her dreams. She came in 6th when she represented Ireland at the 1985 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Wait Until the Weekend Comes”, she toured the United States singing, and Chris de Burgh wrote a song for her. .
Maria then met Frenchman Emmanuel Cuche in Dundalk, fell in love and got married in the early 1990s. She and Emmanuel moved to France where they live in Lorraine, in northeastern France, for about 28 years. years. Maria put her music career aside to raise her seven children.
However, it looks like she’s definitely back and that over the past couple of years she’s made a name for herself not only through music, but also through promoting her book titled “We Can’t See Well With Le. coeur ”(“ We only see clearly with the heart ”) which was published in September 2018. She appeared on several major French televisions to promote her book before auditioning for“ The Voice ”France.
She also uses media attention for a personal quest – she is trying to locate her biological father. She believed that if he heard from her he would remember his romance with his mother when he was a sailor on leave in Ireland. Maria desperately wants to find Theodore Gonzales Gonzales, the missing link in her life, a man she imagined as a child as perhaps the real “Zoro”. However, she gained “a father” when her mother married Patrick when Maria was only 18 months old and had a very happy childhood.
Seeing the radiant face of this mother of seven children and hearing her voice, described as a dove, was an absolute inspiration on the eve of Mother’s Day in France. Her seven children are all musicians, five of whom accompanied her when she sang “Danny Boy” on “The Voice” in January.
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Since then, Irish women living in France have cheered her on from their sofas, and it was with great emotion that we watched her as she stepped onto the semi-final stage of “The Voice”, in a historic episode shot in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions.
This season 9 of “The Voice” attracted a record audience for TF1 with an average of between 4.5 and 5 million people listened to for each episode until the one which was broadcast on April 25 and which was the last of the episodes which had been prerecorded before the pandemic struck. “The Voice” returned on June 6 with the structure of the program significantly altered by the sanitation rules and the logistics of Covid-19.
The twelve competitors in the semi-final represented the 4 judges, three candidates per judge. Maria is part of the team of Canadian singer Lara Fabian. During the April 18 knockout episode, Lara, like the other judges, had to reduce their remaining seven talents to three. Lara chose to keep Maria after being completely impressed with Maria’s portrayal of “Danny Boy” in January and Maria’s absolutely moving portrayal of Barbra Streisand’s “Memory” in the quarterfinals which secured her a spot. in the semi-final.
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The semi-finals were broadcast on Saturday, June 6 and featured the contestants recorded in lockdown performances that were performed in a “live ambience” simulation. Three of the judges were at the television studio for the semi-finals, but Lara Fabian, locked in Montreal, connected by Satellite.
In a recent interview with Sud Radio, Maria mentioned that she had an advantage; unlike other competitors, she is used to being forced to visualize situations, and for her it was just one more performance where she had to visualize the audience, even though this time there was no of public.
Instead of being filmed at the “Palais de Sport” in front of a live audience, this episode was filmed on the new specially constructed Covid-19 studio set. Nikos Aliagas, host of “The Voice”, explained how temperature checks, social distancing, masks and hand gel were all a mandatory part of the event. This semi-final also set a precedent as it was the first time the public had 100% control of the vote, by telephone, to choose the four finalists.
We saw the performers, filmed backstage, the faces partially hidden with Covid-19 masks, but when Maria took the stage, unmasked, resplendent in her golden lamé, off-the-shoulder dress, all the star quality was there. . In the interview with Sud Radio, Maria declared that she had deliberately chosen to sing in French, and to choose “Hymn to love” from the mythical Edith Piaf with whom she feels a strong bond. It was a risky choice, but his performance was spectacular and heartwarming.
Maria touched so many people through her voice, her mind and by being the very personification of love itself. She was accompanied by two of her seven children, her son Emmanuel on the piano and her daughter Shannon on the violin.
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When Lara commented and praised her performance, she also said that Maria had touched her so much that she felt like she had become a better person by meeting her. She commented on Maria’s heavenly quality and how she literally generates hope through her voice and person. From the first time Lara heard Maria sing, a deep bond was forged between the two women. Maria nicknamed Lara her “guardian angel” and said as such that it didn’t matter that she connected from Montreal because anyway she was next to her and she was “her eyes”.
Before the bailiff appeared with the results of the public vote, the four judges sang (with Lara connected by satellite), “Les Mots Bleus” in memory of the much loved French singer “Christophe”, who died at the age of 74 in April 16 in the middle of the lockdown.
To date, Maria has participated in “The Voice” Ireland, “The Voice” France, and has already represented Ireland at Eurovision. She dreams of representing France at Eurovision 2021 and already has her song “Vive L’amour” ready, it’s her own composition. She said her song “evokes France, living in peace, harmony and love. It’s a bit like Edith Piaf. I feel like she sent me this song. At the time, I was pregnant with my daughter and it just happened to me. ”
Although Ireland is her homeland, France and Lorraine have been her adopted “homeland” for 28 years, and representing France next year could be the icing on the cake of her singing career. , making a peer to two of “The Voice” and two Eurovision.
Unfortunately, despite her stunning performance, Maria was not chosen by the public to be one of the finalists for “The Voice” France on June 16th. However, during the Sud Radio interview, she pointed out that in a way she had already won. Since 2018, she has been talking about her disability, which she was reluctant to do before. She is aware that in addition to bringing joy and energy to people, she carries a strong message: “I went blind at age 9 and if I can do it, you can also live your dreams.” She feels that her blindness made her stronger and eventually became a kind of strength rather than a handicap. She and her family also have wonderful memories of her performances, with her children playing in her. backup groups.
I see Maria staying in the limelight for a long time. Besides being a fabulous singer, performer, and writer, in a personal capacity, Maria touched me deeply and I often thought of her resilience during this difficult time of lockdown. Maria, is extremely attractive and a great talker with a quick and quick wit. I could see her as “an influencer,” a type of motivation coach, and since she’s been a valuable asset to any TV show she’s appeared in, I can see her in my mind appearing in the mythical “The Late.” The Late Show ”by Ryan Tubridy or on“ The Jimmy Fallon Show ”in the United States.
Despite enormous efforts by TF1, the semi-final of “The Voice” France attracted a much smaller audience (3.9 million) than the episodes broadcast before during the complete lockout. Had another station been more attractive or had the post-containment Frenchman preferred real life to reality TV?
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