America’s Got Talent contestant Mandy Harvey blew away the crowd and the judges during her audition this week.


Harvey, now 29, is completely deaf, having lost her hearing at age 18 due to a connective tissue disorder. Her translator Sara helped sign her way through the round. Harvey told the judges her story, and Howie Mandel noticed she had removed her shoes. “I’m feeling the beat through the floor,” she explained.

Harvey shared that she had been singing since she was four. “I left music after I lost my hearing and then figured out how to get back into singing with muscle memory using visual tuners and trusting my pitch.”

“After I lost my hearing, I gave up,” she said while explaining what her original song “Try” is about. “But now I want to do more with my life than just give up.”

Harvey played the ukulele and sang her song beautifully, with the opening lines, “I don’t feel the way I used to / The sky is gray, much more than it is blue / But I know one day I’ll get through / And I’ll take my place again / If I would try / If I would try.”

The crowd and judges were moved, some to tears, and the judges all gave the singer a standing ovation. “Mandy, I don’t think you’re gonna need a translator for this…” Simon Cowell said before reaching over and slamming down the golden buzzer, which sends her straight through to the live shows.

“Incredible. I’ve done this a long time, that was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard,” he told her, giving her a hug on stage. “Honestly, I never think I’m gonna be surprised or amazed by people, and then you turn up, and… just the fact that you are you, but it was your voice, your tone, the song was beautiful,” Cowell added after returning to his chair. “You know what, we found each other.”

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