A decade ago, Mandy Harvey lost her hearing as an 18-year-old because of a connective tissue disorder that impacted her nerves.
“Basically,” she told the panel on her America’s Got Talent audition, “I got sick and my nerves deteriorated.”
She had been singing since the age of four, but the minute she found out she was deaf, she left music for a while. After all, if you can’t hear the music you’re creating, how are you ever to know how its performing?
Within a few years, she decided it was time to try her hand at singing again.
“I figured out how to get back into music with muscle memory, using visual tuners and trusting my pitch,” she said.
When facing the country for her reality TV audition, Mandy’s shoes were off on stage. She was following the floor vibrations as a way of the music. She felt the tempo and the beat through the floor.
“After I lost my hearing, I wanted to do more with my life than just give up,” she told the program, launching into a song she wrote for herself called Try.
It took less than a minute for the crowd to give her a standing ovation, for Simon Cowell’s jaw to drop and for tears to flow.
And when you hear this woman sing, it’s not hard to see why.
When the performance finished and the crowd settled, Cowell hit the Golden Buzzer sending Mandy straight through to the America’s Got Talent live finals.
Later, as he jumped on stage to congratulate the 29-year-old who was standing by her father, Cowell said it was “one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen or heard.”