Manami Ito, known as the “Miracle Violinist,” due to her incredible musical skill with the violin with only one arm, is traveling from Japan to star on the The World’s Best, the popular CBS talent show. My Modern Met reports that Manami lost her arm in a traffic accident, but that hasn’t stopped her from becoming a celebrated musician through the use of a prosthetic arm.
Manami first rose to fame after a video of her brilliantly playing the violin with her specially-designed prosthetic arm went viral on YouTube. The original video has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and shows Manami performing “Thread” by Miyuki Nakajima at the Takarazuka City General Welfare Center in Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, according to 10 Daily.
Manami was born in 1984 in Shizuoka, Japan, and was studying to become a nurse when she lost her arm in a traffic accident. Manami didn’t let her accident stop her from studying medicine, and she went on to become Japan’s first nurse to have a prosthetic arm.
According to 10 Daily, Manami excelled in sports growing up, especially swimming, which she focused on later in life. In 2008, she competed at the Beijing Paralympics, coming in fourth in the 100 meter Breaststroke. Four years later, she qualified for London 2012 in the same event and finished eighth in the finals.
“Manami now travels Japan playing violin and lecturing, documenting her travels with her husband and two-year-old daughter Miu on Facebook,” 10 Daily reports.
Manami is one of 24 contestants competing on The World’s Best for bragging rights to the name, and to take home one million dollars. The CBS competition, which is hosted by James Corden, will be judged by Drew Barrymore, RuPaul Charles and Faith Hill.
The contestant will have to impress the judges and break through the “wall of the world,” which is made up of over 50 entertainment experts from around the world, according to International Business Times. The experts offer feedback to the contestants and help decide who will move forward in the competition. The American judges score each act from 1 to 50, and their scores are averaged. Each approving expert gets one point, and the combined scores are added up, with 75 needed to advance, according to USA Today.
Wednesday’s (fourth) episode of the show features the Battle Round, where each of the contestants are split up into groups to attempt to make it to the next round and avoid elimination. They will be divided into different groups: Solo Music, Group Music, Solo Variety, and Group Variety. Manami is competing against Kazakhstan’s Daneliya Tuleshova, otherwise known as “The Vocal Wonder.” Both are hoping to move on to the next round, which will bring them one step closer to becoming “the world’s best.”
According to CBS, fans will have a chance to vote during every episode of the show for their favorite contestant, and voice their opinions on who “stole the show” by tweeting their vote with the corresponding hashtag. Vote #TWBManami to help Manami move forward in the competition, and tune in Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. EST/PT on CBS Network to follow along!