Shyly nursing a talent and a hope to impress with his singing skills

by Sylvia Pownall

A singing nurse who grew up with a stutter says he hopes to inspire others after making it through the first round of a TV talent show.

Rodelle Borja, who was born in The Philippines but now lives in Swords, blew judges away on last Saturday’s episode of Ireland’s Got Talent.

The shy 29-year-old appeared almost sick with nerves as he prepared to go on stage, but he brought the auditorium to its feet after belting out an Elvis hit.

After his rendition of I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You won him four yeses from the judges, the soft-spoken nurse told Dublin Gazette: “Growing up with a stutter was quite difficult and I’m not really that confident.

“I started singing when I was a little child. I always used singing as a way to express myself.

“My stammer was much worse when I was young. Now I’ve been able to come up with some techniques to hide it, but it’s always worse when I get nervous.”

Rodelle said he organises regular “sing-songs” for the elderly patients at the Tara Winthrop Private Clinic in Swords where he works, and they seem to love his voice.

He revealed that his colleagues encouraged him to apply for IGT “because they said my voice needs to be heard on telly”.

Rodelle, who visited his two brothers and one sister in The Philippines shortly before Christmas, said winning the show would see his dream become a reality.

He said: “I’ve always wanted to sing in competitions to make my parents and friends proud and to inspire everyone that it’s never too late to chase their dreams.

“I can’t always express myself by talking, so music is my ultimate outlet.”

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