Written by Tonja Renée Stidhum
Whitney Houston has been and will forever be unmatched. Her voice is the quintessential standard for perfection and pretty much every singer aspires to even touch the notes she was able to hit.
During singing competitions, a lot of contestants have chosen one of Whitney’s infamous songs in order to showcase their singing chops. Folks have failed more often than not, because… well, she set astronomical standards. For example, on shows where Simon Cowell has appeared as a judge -- The X Factor, American Idol and America’s Got Talent -- eager contestants announce their song choice to the snarky judge and are met with his incredulous scoff.
That’s why moments when the contestants surprise the brusque Cowell are always priceless. Moments like the one created by America’s Got Talent contestant Johnny Manuel. As soon as the first notes of “I Have Nothing” by Whitney Houston reverberated throughout the majestic stage, the hesitant yet expectant looks of Cowell and his fellow judges, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel couldn’t be ignored.
The looks on their faces basically illustrated what we all were thinking. Hmmm, will he even pull this off?
OH, YES HE SURE DID.
It’s especially always interesting to hear a male voice of the infamous song from The Bodyguard soundtrack, especially given the range of the song, often soaring into super high notes. But, Johnny nailed it! The Flint, Michigan native sent chills through the spines of the judges, the audience, and us!
He not only slayed a super complex song, but the extra-impressive feat was making the infamously cantankerous Simon Cowell grin widely with admiration.
The NBC talent competition’s host Tyra Banks put it best when she said, “Whitney hears you, honey.”
The video was posted on the show’s official Facebook page and has since accumulated over 48 million views. Fabulous!
Shout-out to Johnny Manuel! I know you previously mentioned that you had a record deal that didn’t pan out. Well, I have a feeling you won’t have a problem getting the recognition and acclaim you deserve this time around. Now’s your time!
What did you think of his cover? Did he kill it or nah?