A 19-year-old Cork musician was plucked from obscurity and placed on stage in front of thousands of people, thanks to an international friendship - and the internet.
Abigail Mulcahy - O’Connell appeared on Italy’s Got Talent alongside her friend Federico Perotti who was auditioning on the show this week.
Federico’s audition, which was supposed to be a duet with Abigail via Video link, took place last September but aired recently in Italy.
Speaking to The Echo, Abigail, who is a former student of Cholaiste Choilm, Ballincollig, described how the dramatic events unfolded.
“I met Federico in 2016 on a Youth Exchange programme," she said.
"I’ve been playing the piano since I was a child and during lockdown, I did a duet with Federico online. We sang ‘High Hopes’ by Kodaline.”
Abigail said when Federico applied to Italy’s Got Talent, the producers saw their duet online and contacted her to see if she would fly over for Federico’s audition in Rome last September.
"My best friend Sean knew because he was in the room when I got the call from the producers. He really pushed me to do it, which I appreciate now.”
Abigail said she had to take a number of Covid tests on the way over, at the audition and on the way back to ensure she was travelling safely and was Covid-free.
The young musician said Federico was extremely shocked to see her turning up at his audition in Rome.
“At the start, he thought we were going to sing together through video link and then as we were singing I walked out. He looked startled! It was lovely, a real reunion, we hadn’t seen each other since 2016.”
Abigail, who is in her first year of theatre and drama at Trinity College Dublin said she was confident her friend would get through to the next round of the show.
“I’m very confident for him, he is very talented.”