There are voices, and there’s Roland Abante’s voice.
The fisherman from the Philippines has netted a special gift, which he shared on Tuesday night’s (June 13) edition of America’s Got Talent.
Speaking through an interpreter, Abante explained that he caught fish in the morning, and was a courier and ride-share driver through the rest of the working day. The extent of his stage activity back home is singing karaoke.
Despite the enormous step up that is the AGT stage, Abante backed himself and impressed the heck out of everyone in the room. And judging by the booming number of clicks for performance video on YouTube, he’s making fans everywhere.
When asked why he chose to compete in this 18th season of AGT, the tears flowed. “This is my big dream, to be here,” he said.
Abante can continue to dream.
Despite an impromptu, on-stage hug from Heidi Klum, and a lengthy pause, Abante held his nerve and let it shine with a full-throated performance of “When a Man Loves a Woman,” written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright and originally recorded by Percy Sledge back in 1966.
Abante has got the blues, and a voice, that earned a standing ovation from all four judges. “I don’t think you could have done it better,” enthused Heidi Klum. “Mic drop. You left it all on the stage, you were amazing, you should be very proud of yourself.”
Sofia Vergara reckons a career change is coming. “I have a feeling you’ll going to have to stop fishing because this is where you need to be.”
After giving two thumbs up, Simon Cowell had a confession. “You were so nervous I genuinely thought for one moment you weren’t going to be able to do this. And then, that happened. And it made me love this audition even more. I really like you. That was a great audition. Really brilliant.”
Cowell copied Klum by giving the contestant a hug. “Everybody heard a life-changing moment,” Howie Mandel said of the performance.
And with that, the judging panel gave four yeses.