When Matt Dodd went out on stage at Ireland's Got Talent, the judges, Louis Walsh, Michelle Visage, Jason Byrne, and Denise van Outen, did not expect such a voice to come out of this 68-year-old granddad from Ballyfermot. Urged by his grandkids to audition, Matt Dodd gave it his all.
He was simply eating lunch with his grandkids when they encouraged him he needed to step out and apply for the talent show. He decided not to argue, but could have never guessed where it would lead him.
Matt Dodd, who came to the auditions with his wife and grandkids, hails from Ballyfermot, Ireland. At the time of the audition, he worked as a part-time bus driver for a nursing home. Every morning, while driving the older folk, he would treat them to a private concert much to his passengers' delight. And even at home, he would serenade his family with his beautiful deep singing voice..
He began singing when he was just ten-years-old for a choir. Since then, he's been singing for his family, for the folks at the nursing home, during mass with the choir at the nursing home, and at karaoke bars. When he came out on stage, he told Louis he was going to sing "I Who Have Nothing" by legendary Welsh singer Tom Jones. The four judges sat back and waited for Matt to start singing. Boy, were they in for a surprise!
When Matt Dodd opened his mouth and sang the first notes, everybody's jaw dropped. Nobody could believe this beautiful baritone voice had come out of this silver-haired man from Ballyfermot. Louis said, "With a brilliant voice like that, how come nothing has happened to you until now?" Michelle reiterates he "didn't have to try" and that he had "a rare gift that doesn't come around in a lifetime." Louis agreed that they "don't hear voices like that anymore." Denise believes they "found a new superstar," which made Matt blush. Joseph said he "had a massive voice [and that he] was a star and belonged somewhere else." He received four big yeses and moved on to the live shows.
On the live shows, he competed with a mostly younger set of contestants but he wowed the crowds. Even after being eliminated in the Semi-Finals, he returned to the Finals performances, along with Zack Millne, through the wildcard sessions, chosen by the judges. RDC, the dance troupe from Cork, eventually won Ireland's Got Talent season 1.