It’s Christmas Eve, and I think that warrants something special. So, here is the amazing and inspirational story of George Sampson, the 2008 winner of Britain’s Got Talent.
George Sampson hails from Manchester where spent years dancing on the street to entertain the crowds and earn a little money. Right off the bat, that is amazing because he suffers from a rare condition called Scheuermann’s disease, which affects developing bones in children and teenagers and can cause a curvature of the spine.
The condition even caused him to go temporarily blind in one eye for two months around Christmas time, Sampson said to The Sun Newspaper. “The eye was all inflamed. I’d been using Deep Heat for my sore back, so at first I just thought I’d got it in my eye. But I ended up blind,” he said. “The spinal nerves were trapped and it affected my optic nerves, I lost all my coordination and it was really hard to dance, as I didn’t have my balance. I kept bumping into everything.”
Despite the disease, George actually competed in 2007, but marginally failed to make the grade. However, he didn’t let that stop him! Instead, he went home and worked even harder.
I’m going to take you through his progression in order. First, the initial performance which got everyone interested actually happened in 2007 with George street-dancing to “Timbaland – Drop”.
Unfortunately, he didn’t make it through to the finals that year. But he was undaunted and decided to try again in 2008. An extra year of practice only helped his performance.
George then went on to the semi-finals and performed an absolutely amazing remix of singing in the rain.
Then, the grand finale. Congratulations kid. You deserve it! After winning, they asked George to perform his Singing in the Rain routine once again – which he did flawlessly! Amazing performances, even under pressure. The true mark of a champion.
You’ll be happy to learn that since this show, George has had a few outstanding things happen:
On 26 June 2008, it was announced that George would become the face of a new 11-18 account for NatWest bank, in a deal reportedly worth Â£1million.
Into the Hoods
On 4 August 2008, Sampson made his stage debut in the West End hip-hop musical Into the Hoods. With some exceptions, he appeared in the show until it stopped on 30 August. Of his new role, he said: “This year is getting better and better – Into the Hoods show is funky and young and I love the music in it â€“ I can’t wait to get dancing on that stage!”.
On 28 November 2008, it was announced that Sampson’s record company and Bebo would work together to make a online television show called Follow My Lead which would include some dance move tutorials by Sampson, but also a behind the scenes look of events and rehearsals. They previously worked together to create a similar show on Leon Jackson.
Sampson won the under-16 category in the United Dance Organization’s 2007 World Street Dance championships. Following his win of Britain’s Got Talent, he returned to the 2008 championships at the Blackpool Winter Gardens to give a performance together with his dance group A2AA (Access 2 All Areas) and to accept an award for his contributions to raising the profile of street dance from UDO chairman Simon Dibley.
He also received an award in the category “Favorite Winner” at the 2008 Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards and he performed his signature dance “Singing in the Rain” during the ceremony.