Man sings emotional tribute to late best friend on “The X Factor”

That Time A Mechanic Made Simon Cowell Cry

Josh Daniel sang his heart out during the 2015 season of “The X Factor UK,” doing what few have been able to do: Bring Simon Cowell to tears.

It was the end of a long day of auditions, and Josh was the last contestant. As they bantered Josh understood that most acts at the end of the day go well or poorly. He told the judges he was singing a cover of Labrinth’s “Jealous,” dedicated to a friend of his.

“I lost my best friend a couple of years ago,” Josh said. “And I kind of interpret the lyrics in a completely different way…the lyrics kind of say, I’m jealous that you’re happy without me. And I kind of see it in the sense that, I’m jealous that he’s happy in Heaven, that he’s moved onto a better place, and that I can’t still be with him.”

Simon Cowell explained his emotional response later on. “You can’t censor stuff like that,” he said, “In the end, I kind of just said to them, ‘I’m OK with it’, but I don’t want to approve anything, I’ll let you make your decision as to what is acceptable and what isn’t.”

Simon’s emotional reaction came from the recent loss of his mother, Julie Brett, 89, who passed from a stroke. There were few dry eyes that night after Josh’s performance touched so many hearts, and it still brings a tear to the eye even today.