Performing a Whitney Houston cover on a singing competition show is widely regarded as one of the riskiest things to do. Simon Cowell, who has judged programs like “The X Factor,” “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent” has routinely criticized contestants for choosing to do, remarking how there was just no way to compete with one of the greatest singers of all time.
So if a cover makes Cowell grin from ear-to-ear on national television, it’s got to be great.
“America’s Got Talent” contestant Johnny Manuel simply slayed with his rendition of Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” a vocally-demanding and complex song only the fiercest of competitors would attempt.
The Flint, Michigan native’s performance brought the audience to its feet and left the judges stunned. As host Tyra Banks said:
The Facebook video of Manuel’s appearance on “America’s Got Talent” racked up more than 4.1 million views just hours after the program aired.
Watch the epic performance in the video above.