It is said that people who are visually impaired are more likely to have exceptional musical talent than those with normal eyesight. The reason behind this is that the area of the brain connected to sight is not used but the other areas connected to the other senses are. In the case of most talented blind people, their reception of auditory input is more focused or sharpened. They learn music by listening and copying the way a song is sung in contrast with those who have normal eyesight, who can learn music by reading notes, playing by ear, and following theory.
Music for the visually impaired is mostly an aural sensation and so their attention is concentrated on the music: the pitch, the flow, the style, and how the singer interprets the song. In this episode of The Voice, Vernon Barnard chose to sing One Direction's "Story of My Life." He begins singing and you can tell that although he did not have formal training, his soulful rendition of the song immediately caught the attention of the judges.
A few seconds into the song and you can see the effect it had on judge Bobby Van Jaarsveld. He is so obviously moved as Vernon sings the first few lines of the song. He turns around after those first few lines and after watching Vernon sing, he breaks down and sheds tears. So does Lira who turns around shortly after and seems to be shocked that a blind man is singing the song so perfectly. The audience is excited about Vernon's performance and they go wild when Bobby turns around, stands on his chair and faces them, encouraging them to stand and cheer Vernon on.
Not only did Vernon get Bobby to turn his chair around, but he got two more judges' chairs turned around as well. Vernon does not see the size of the audience, nor is he aware of how the stage looks. He does not see the judges and he is not aware of how the judges are reacting to his interpretation of the song.
Determination, courage and confidence, combined with raw talent and an exceptional voice surely made Vernon's star shine brightly that day. He is living proof that disability is not an obstacle to success.