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Deaf Singer Impresses TV Judges

Mandy Harvey is a deaf singer who impressed the judges on America's Got Talent.
Mandy Harvey is a deaf singer who impressed the judges on America's Got Talent.
Deaf Singer Impresses TV Judges
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This is What’s Trending Today.

Mandy Harvey is a 29-year-old singer from the American state of Florida.

She suffers from connective tissue disorder. She lost most of her ability to hear when she was 18.

As a child and during her teenage years, Harvey was a singer. But she stopped singing for a time after she went deaf.

But she decided to start singing again after she learned how to feel a song’s beat through the wooden floor of a stage or theater. She uses visual aids to make sure her musical instruments are tuned correctly and she is singing in the correct pitch.

Harvey is now a professional singer. But until Tuesday night, not many people in the United States had heard of her.

That changed when she appeared on the television show “America’s Got Talent.” The show has four judges who watch people perform and decide if they should continue in the competition.

Different versions of the “Got Talent” show are seen around the world.

Mandy Harvey appeared on stage with a small instrument: a ukulele. A sign language interpreter stood next to the judges.

One of the judges, Simon Cowell, asked Harvey about the condition that caused her to go deaf.

Then she got ready to perform. She sang a piece she wrote, called “Try.” Harvey said: “After I lost my hearing, I gave up. But I want to do more with my life than just give up.”

Cowell said: “Good for you,” and clapped his hands loudly.

As she was singing, one camera cut away to capture images of people in the theater. Many were seen crying.

At one point, everyone stood up and cheered.

By Wednesday afternoon, a video of Harvey’s performance had been played 46 million times.


Shortly after she finished singing, Cowell smiled, and said “Mandy, I don’t think you’re going to need a translator for this.”

And he reached over and hit a button that released golden confetti into the air. That meant Harvey automatically moved on to the final part of the talent competition.

Cowell said, “I’ve done this a long time, and that was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard.”

Thousands of people wrote about the performance on Facebook.

Many wrote that Harvey’s performance was inspiring, and they will not give up on anything they want to do, either.

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for VOA Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

What do you think of the deaf singer? We want to know. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

visual – n. something you look at (such as a picture, chart, or film) that is used to make something more appealing or easier to understand

pitch – n. the highness or lowness of a sound

tune – v. to adjust (a musical instrument) so that it makes the correct sound when played

talent – n. a special ability that allows someone to do something well

interpreter – n. a person who translates the words that someone is speaking into a different language

translator – n. a person who changes words written in one language into a different language

confetti – n. small pieces of brightly colored paper that people often throw at celebrations (such as weddings and parties)

inspire – v. to make (someone) want to do something : to give (someone) an idea about what to do or create

automaticallyadj. something done involuntarily

professionaladj. of or related to a job or the workplace