Johnny Manuel impressed the “America’s Got Talent” judges with his recent performance of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” but he wasn’t certain just before the audition that his voice was in the right condition to perform it.
The 33-year-old from Flint, Michigan, sings professionally with corporate bands and had been touring with a different group just prior to filming his “AGT” episode.
“My voice was so tired overall,” Manuel told TheWrap. “I had gotten back from Australia a few days before, and so I was worried my voice was tired because it’s such a big song. Obviously, you need your entire range to sing it. So I was a little bit worried that my voice was not going to be strong enough, but it held up.”
Manuel explained that he chose “I Have Nothing” because he is a huge Houston fan and wanted to challenge himself.
“I felt like if I’m going to give this a real shot, I have to choose something that’s going to force me out of my shell, out of my comfort zone and that I feel like I’m pushing myself, and so that was the first song that came to mind,” he said.
The performer, who told the judges on stage about having been dropped by a record label in his earlier years, is excited for the future.
“Being dropped from the record company was sort of a big deal in my life at the time, but I try now to just focus on the present and moving forward,” Manuel said.
“America’s Got Talent” airs on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.