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'Britain's Got Talent' child star Shaheen Jafargholi: Exclusive EW Q&A

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Yes, we all love Susan Boyle. But the charming Scot might have some competition in the form of 12-year-old Shaheen Jafargholi. The young singer, who auditioned in Wales, took the stage and began singing Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie,” and was quickly halted by Simon, who asked him to sing another song. Jafargholi rebounded with the Jackson 5’s “Who’s Loving You,” and earned yet another standing-O from the cranky British judge. (“I felt physically sick when Simon stopped him,” Jafargholi’s mother, Karen, tells EW. “It was so scary.”) But how does he think he compares to Boyle? Jafargholi talked to EW about his experience, and how things have changed.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How are you feeling today, Shaheen? I’m sure you’re getting plenty of attention.
SHAHEEN JAFARGHOLI: Yeah, kind of. It’s really crazy, because it just basically happened overnight. And it’s such an amazing experience to be a part of. So people coming up to me and congratulating me — it’s really amazing.   

Think you’ll get sick of the congratulations anytime soon?
I don’t think I will. I’m grateful and thankful for people caring about me. I would like to thank everyone around the world for supporting me. And everybody who’s been giving me great comments on YouTube and giving me hits and stuff. I already have, like, over 300,000 hits, and it’s just absolutely phenomenal.

Why did you decide to appear on Britain’s Got Talent?
I kind of felt if I go on it, I can show the rest of the world my talent. Hopefully [they’ll] embrace it and [I’ll] get something out of it.

What were you thinking when Simon cut off your performance of “Valerie”?
I thought that I blew my one chance. And then Simon Cowell gave me another chance, and I’m really glad I got one more chance to show him what I’ve got.

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Are you scared of Simon?
He’s an honest guy, and he’ll tell

you the truth. Whatever happens, happens, but hopefully it will be good

news. I’d rather hear the truth than hear a lie. So don’t tell me I’m

good if I’m not. I’d rather hear that I got it wrong, or I’d rather

hear that I messed up so I can take note and improve the next time.

Well, he seemed to honestly like you this time around. All three judges gave your performance of “Who’s Loving You” a standing ovation. What was going through your mind?
I stopped thinking. It was so major. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

People are saying you’re providing competition for Susan Boyle. What do you think about that?
I don’t really think I will, but I will give it a good shot. And I think she’s talented as well. I wish her the best because she’s got talent and I think she should embrace it and take advantage of the attention because I think she deserves it.

Is there anyone else out there that you have your eye on, competition-wise?
No. I just think whoever wins, wins for a reason. It’s an unpredictable competition. You don’t know what’s going to happen. And hopefully it will go my way, but if it doesn’t, then I’m just really pleased with what happened so far.

This season, the show has been catching on in the U.S., not just Britain. Are you glad you’re on the show now?
I feel really lucky to be a part of it. And I’m grateful for it coming back so good. I hope it [goes] further and further.   

What kind of singing career do you hope to have in the future?
I would just love to be successful and I’d like to be a recording artist. I’d like to be famous and going on world tours and be doing everything that a pop star does. I want to live life.

More on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ stars:

Ken Tucker: Here’s Susan Boyle’s competition… and he’s 12 year-old Shaheen Jafargholi


Piers Morgan on Susan Boyle: ‘She can do whatever she wants now’


‘Britain’s Got Talent’ breakout Susan Boyle: Why we watch…and weep
Susan Boyle: What’s the big deal?
Susan Boyle on CBS ‘Early Show’: Watch talent triumph over show-biz again this morning
5 reasons why Susan Boyle is different from your usual overnight sensation
Susan Boyle’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition gives Simon his second spontaneous ‘O’ of the week

Are you scared of Simon?
He’s an honest guy, and he’ll tellyou the truth. Whatever happens, happens, but hopefully it will be goodnews. I’d rather hear the truth than hear a lie. So don’t tell me I’mgood if I’m not. I’d rather hear that I got it wrong, or I’d ratherhear that I messed up so I can take note and improve the next time.

Well, he seemed to honestly like you this time around. All three judges gave your performance of “Who’s Loving You” a standing ovation. What was going through your mind?
I stopped thinking. It was so major. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

People are saying you’re providing competition for Susan Boyle. What do you think about that?
I don’t really think I will, but I will give it a good shot. And I think she’s talented as well. I wish her the best because she’s got talent and I think she should embrace it and take advantage of the attention because I think she deserves it.

Is there anyone else out there that you have your eye on, competition-wise?
No. I just think whoever wins, wins for a reason. It’s an unpredictable competition. You don’t know what’s going to happen. And hopefully it will go my way, but if it doesn’t, then I’m just really pleased with what happened so far.

This season, the show has been catching on in the U.S., not just Britain. Are you glad you’re on the show now?
I feel really lucky to be a part of it. And I’m grateful for it coming back so good. I hope it [goes] further and further.   

What kind of singing career do you hope to have in the future?
I would just love to be successful and I’d like to be a recording artist. I’d like to be famous and going on world tours and be doing everything that a pop star does. I want to live life.

More on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ stars:
Ken Tucker: Here’s Susan Boyle’s competition… and he’s 12 year-old Shaheen Jafargholi
Piers Morgan on Susan Boyle: ‘She can do whatever she wants now’
‘Britain’s Got Talent’ breakout Susan Boyle: Why we watch…and weep
Susan Boyle: What’s the big deal?
Susan Boyle on CBS ‘Early Show’: Watch talent triumph over show-biz again this morning
5 reasons why Susan Boyle is different from your usual overnight sensation
Susan Boyle’s ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ audition gives Simon his second spontaneous ‘O’ of the week

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