America’s Got Talent has showcased some incredible performances, but Amanda Mammana’s audition goes toe-to-toe with all of them. Overcoming a speech impediment she performed an original song and blew away the judges.
Appearing on a show like America’s Got Talent or Pop Idol back in the day must be an incredibly stressful and nerve-wracking appearance. Imagine how much more stressful it would be if you had a speech impediment. Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates braved the stage even though he knew his stammer would get worse due to nerves and having to skip therapy.
He ended up finishing second, and the country took him to their hearts for his talent and bravery. Now, twenty-one years on, Amanda Mammana has exhibited similar qualities. She appeared on the seventeenth season of AGT at the Pasadena auditions. Later, she talked about how surreal it was to be there. “I could hear the audience, I could hear Terry Crews talking, and then I walked out on the stage and saw the four judges there. It felt crazy”, she recalled.
It must have taken so much courage to walk onstage and talk to the judges knowing that millions of people would hear her stammer. The fascinating thing about these kinds of speech impediments is that they only happen when the person is speaking, not singing. A study by the University of Iowa suggests it is because speech comes from the left side of the brain, whereas singing, as a creative act, uses the right.
Is it possible that others with stammers sing their conversations to their families as a neat way around it?
Having answered the judges’ questions, Amanda sang a song she wrote herself. It’s called Back to Life, and it chronicles the hard times that she has gone through. She explains that the point of the song is not to feel sad about those times but to say that even if she could change them, she wouldn’t because they made her who she is. As she was getting ready to sing, Simon whispered that he hoped she was good.
Once Amanda began to perform, her stammer was the last thing on anyone’s mind. It was powerful and raw, and in no time at all, the judges and the audience were in tears. Her Dad watched from backstage, a bundle of nerves but obviously so proud of his daughter. When Amanda reached the end of her song, the audience went crazy. They leapt to their feet, cheering and clapping, and were joined by the judges.
Simon praised her bravery, saying auditioning is so difficult without a speech impediment. He also told her that she was a great songwriter and that he was really glad she came to the audition. High praise indeed! Amanda went away with four yeses, and her beautiful audition has now been viewed 7.3 million times. Sadly. She was eliminated in the semi-finals, but she is still making music.
She attends Liberty University, has performed at half-time at a Miami Dolphins game, and played at a Christian music festival. She has also released six singles and an EP and gets more than 20,000 listens per month on Spotify. Let’s hope the sky is the limit for Amanda. If you would like to see more from Amanda Mammana, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel or follow her on Facebook.