AMERICA’S GOT TALENT Contestant: ‘God Has Given Me The Gift To Speak Through My Music’
By Movieguide® Contributor
In a personal essay for Guideposts, AMERICA’S GOT TALENT contestant Amanda Mammana revealed how she overcame her shyness to compete on the popular TV show.
“They call AMERICA’S GOT TALENT the biggest stage in the world, and it definitely felt like it that day last April,” Mammana wrote.
The AGT alum described her nervousness, from sweaty hands to a dry throat.
“When judge Howie Mandel asked my name and I tried to speak, nothing came out,” she remembered. “The crowd fell silent, as silent as I was, waiting for the words to come. Finally I stammered my name and then my age, 19. ‘As you can probably tell,’ I haltingly explained, ‘I have a bit of a speech impediment….’”
Mammana revealed that, while she “had always loved to sing and perform,” a stutter that came out of nowhere made her extremely shy.
“I went from being an extroverted, carefree 10-year-old to a shy and insecure one,” she wrote. “I dreaded speaking in class, ordering at restaurants, even introducing myself. Fortunately, most of the kids at my small Christian school were kind, and I was rarely picked on.”
I pleaded with God to rid me of my impediment, but nothing changed. I was angry with him and very confused. Why did you give me this stutter, Lord? I asked. Why won’t you take it away?” she continued.
“If I couldn’t bring myself to speak in class, how would I be able to sing in the school talent show?” she went on. “I decided to practice at home, where no one could hear me mess up. To my amazement, the words came smoothly when I sang. My stutter vanished. I felt so free onstage performing in the talent show. After that, I joined my church worship team and began learning how to play the guitar.”
As she struggled to overcome her stutter, Mammana shared that she was starting to lose hope that she would ever be able to work through her nerves.
One day, she sat down and wrote a song called “I Will Trust.”
“I sang about how lost I felt, how the pain I’d experienced weighed me down—everything I hadn’t been able to voice because I was afraid of showing my vulnerability. I sang about the Lord’s goodness and my acceptance of whatever he had in store for me. It was part prayer, part promise,” Mammana wrote. “I cried again, this time for joy, thanking God for granting me the inspiration to give voice to my deepest feelings.”
Mammana put a video of herself performing the song on YouTube where people’s positive comments gave her the confidence to audition for AMERICA’S GOT TALENT.
“I tried to focus on the music, not all the eyes on me. And just as I’d said, there was no stutter at all. Not a hitch,” Mammana said. “When I finished, the whole crowd was on its feet, and so were the judges. I couldn’t believe it!
She continued, “Judge Simon Cowell told me I had a pure and beautiful voice. He and the other judges gave me the four votes I needed to advance to the next round of the competition. I couldn’t hold back my tears. My wildest dreams were coming true, dreams I’d never thought possible.”
While Mammana didn’t advance past the semifinals, she shared that her time on the competition show revealed to her that she was confident and did well under pressure.
Since the show aired, Mammana has been performing in different churches and coffee shops, and even got the chance to play the half-time show at a Miami Dolphins game. She also just signed a deal with Next Records.
“I’ve learned to embrace the paradox of my condition,” Mammana wrote. “I continue to have difficulty speaking, yet God has given me the gift to speak eloquently through my music and to share his love.”
She concluded, “The hard times I’ve been through, the struggles I’ve endured, are what make me me. I won’t go back—I’ll keep moving forward. In the silence of the pauses as I’m trying to find the words, I pray, Okay, Lord, help me. And he always does.”
Movieguide® previously reported on Amanda Mammana:
Despite a speech impediment, 19-year-old AMERICA’S GOT TALENT finalist Amanda Mammana is singing boldly to the glory of God.
At a recent Andrew Palau evangelistic outreach event, Mammana explained how she relies on her faith in God despite her difficulty with everyday communication.
“For about 10 years now, I’ve had a stutter, and it’s definitely something that has caused me to shy away and to not believe in myself,” Mammana said. “But by the grace of God, I found that I don’t stutter when I sing.”
“I’ve been able to take that and to let that just be a great way to spread the Gospel,” she added.
Mammana made a run on AGT over the summer and gave the glory to God for her success on the show.
“The Holy Spirit just took over and He put a fire inside of me,” she said, “All Glory to God.”
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