On her audition for the “X Factor UK,” Mary Byrne found herself standing in front of the ever-so-critical Simon. Mary had overcome some obstacles to stand there. At 28-years-old she gave up performing in public as she fought depression and the heartbreak of a failed relationship. Now, her only audience consisted of customers passing through her checkout line in the UK store, Tesco.

At the encouragement of her friends and family, she took up performing again and won an Irish television singing contest. New step — “The X Factor.” As she stood on the stage, Mary revealed her song choice to the judges after taking a moment to introduce herself. When she said that she would be singing “I Who Have Nothing” by Tom Jones, the judges were skeptical. They doubted her ability to pull off the difficult song and had practically written her off before she even began to sing.

But, she proved them all wrong when she gave a stellar performance. The judges changed their tune and rewarded her with tons of praise. Then, it was Simon’s turn to speak, and it was his words that meant the most.

Watch Mary’s audition in the video below and see just what Simon had to say about it!