“It’s the last of the Judge Cuts, there’s only seven slots left, and that is it. We go straight to the live shows,” warned “America’s Got Talent” judge Mel B at the beginning of the Judge Cuts 4 episode of “America’s Got Talent” 2017. And then 32-year-old singer Johnny Manuel came forward to perform his rendition of Stevie Wonder‘s “Lately.” However, this performance didn’t blow the judges away. Watch Johnny Manuel’s video above.
“With all the trills and everything, I thought it was quite annoying,” hissed “AGT” judge Simon Cowell. “I like, Johnny, when you do something we don’t expect. Whereas I’ve heard a lot of people sing Stevie Wonder like that, just give me 30 seconds of the song you sang before, ‘I Have Nothing.'”
After Manuel sang his second song, which was a reprisal of his first song, the judges adequately rated his performance. Simon confessed, “Even from what I just heard there, honestly you are one of the best singers in this competition, so thank you.”
Seal added, “You know, Johnny, you have such an incredible voice. It is undeniable. You hit notes that I can only dream of. I was always taught that you have to be ready at every situation. You never know when opportunity is gonna knock on your door. Simon said to you, give me something a cappella. And you didn’t flinch. You just gave an incredible rendition. And so I’m gonna have to … I’m gonna have to …”
Guest judge Seal dragged out the drama, but everyone at home knew he was about to hit his Golden Buzzer, and he did. With that, Johnny Manuel became the fourth singer of the judge cuts rounds to be sent straight through to live shows at the Dolby Theatre. Chris Hardwick picked nine-year-old singer Angelica Hale as his Golden Buzzer, while DJ Khaled opted for singer-songwriter Chase Goehring and Laverne Cox chose nine-year-old singer Celine Tam. These three acts join the other Golden Buzzer recipients from Season 12, which you can see down in our photo gallery below.
Guest judge Seal said in a pre-taped segment, “I’m really excited to be here, it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Let’s go see some great talent.” Seal was no doubt asked to join the “Americas Got Talent” judging panel this week because he knows one of the full-time judges quite well. Heidi Klum and Seal were married between 2005 and 2015, and the couple have four children together.