Colorado native Mandy Harvey didn’t imagine herself competing on the NBC show “America’s Got Talent” for a variety of reasons.
There was her constant battles with stage fright and her tendency towards being an introvert -- and her complete hearing loss 10 years ago. But as an ambassador for the Fort Collins-based group No Barriers USA, a nonprofit that encourages those with disabilities to tackle adversity, the show proved to be a challenge worth taking on.
“When the opportunity came up to audition, (my friends and family reminded me) ‘Well, what’s the worst that can happen?’” Harvey said.
She wowed the judges during her first performance and received the coveted Golden Buzzer from the notoriously critical Simon Cowell. The award meant Harvey automatically moved on to the show’s live rounds.
KUNC arts reporter Stacy Nick has reported on the singer for several years and caught up with her in Los Angeles as she prepared for the semi-finals.
Harvey took fourth place on the 12th season of "America's Got Talent." The winner was 12-year-old ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer.
On getting a Golden Buzzer from AGT judge Simon Cowell:
“He doesn’t have to say nice things. He’s proven time and time again, if he doesn’t really feel called to say something nice, he won’t. So for him to not talk about my life and my story, but to analyze my tone and my pitch and the song itself meant a lot because he was listening to me as an artist, as a musician.”
On dealing with stage fright:
“I always get a little bit nervous, but I kind of go into this realm of numb where I don’t really allow myself to feel really excited or scared or anything, which made it a little difficult because they’re filming you at all times. They keep asking you, ‘How excited are you to be stepping out on that stage in front of all those people?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m numb. I am perfectly numb.’”
On her upcoming live semi-final performance:
“Instead of (playing) the ukulele I’m going to be signing while I sing, which is the first time that they’ve ever had anybody on that stage sign a song. So that’s pretty great. In my mind, it’s just another tiny little barrier that I got to be a part of getting crushed.”
Singer Mandy Harvey will compete on America’s Got Talent’s live semi-final show at 7 p.m. Sept. 12, 2017 on NBC.