While ensconced in front of the TV, we all watch talent shows like The X Factor, and it’s easy to think that stepping up on stage in front of the country wouldn’t be too daunting. Nerves would definitely be present, but really, what the hey? Today, we take a look at a candidate who proved that stage anxiety is genuine and instantly won over the public.

Customer service advisor Christopher Maloney, 34, of Liverpool, had never before taken part in an event comparable to The X Factor. Gathering the nerve to go took him five years in and of itself. He was a nervous wreck as he took the stage, but the audience warmed to his genuine personality and smile as he spoke, and the crowd returned the favor. See him perform in the video down below:

He admitted before his performance that he underestimated the size of the audience. He was obviously anxious about performing in front of an audience, but he filled out the application and promptly tore it up multiple times before deciding to go through with the audition. Regardless, he mustered the bravery to attend with the support of his family.

The fact that he moved in with his grandma when her partner—Christopher’s grandfather—passed away demonstrates his unwavering commitment to his family and the fact that she is his strongest supporter. To the point where he sang Bette Midler’s “The Rose,” which was played at his funeral in honor of his life, during his audition as a tribute to his grandfather, who had passed away. Below you can find the video of Bette Midler performing The Rose in her original version: