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Armless Pianist Liu Wei Wows & Wins On ‘China’s Got Talent’

Lyndsey Parker
Reality Rocks

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A couple months ago, I wrote about Liu Wei, an astoundingly brave 23-year-old "China's Got Talent" contestant who at age 10 lost both of his arms in a freak electrocution accident, but still decided to pursue his dream of becoming a concert pianist--even after after one piano teacher told him he would never, ever succeed.

And now, Liu has succeeded, all right. When he auditioned for "China's Got Talent" in August with a perfect performance of French pianist Richard Clayderman's "Mariage D'amour" played entirely with his toes, he became not just a Chinese but an international hero, a role model for anyone struggling to fight incredible odds. And this past weekend, Liu won the entire competition with a tear-jerking and inspiring performance of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful"--complete with English-language singing--in front of a capacity audience at Shanghai Stadium.

When Liu first auditioned, he delivered a brave and serious speech, declaring: "For people like me, there were only two options. One was to abandon all dreams, which would lead to a quick, hopeless death. The other was to struggle without arms to live an outstanding life." But on Sunday when he accepted his "CGT" prize, he revealed a lighter side of his personality, telling the judges, "At least I have a pair of perfect legs!"

[Photos of Liu Wei]

Congratulations to Liu. Heartening tales of overcoming adversity are nothing new on "Got Talent" and other reality shows, but his is a true sob story with a truly happy ending.

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