A singer from Chapel Hill wowed all four judges on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday night – and she moved them with her personal story, too.
Twenty-year-old Anna Clendening bravely stood alone in front of a big studio audience and millions of TV viewers, as she strummed an acoustic guitar and sang a heartfelt version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
During her introduction, Clendening talked about her recent health struggles.
“I suffer from anxiety and depression disorder,” said Clendening. “So about two or three months ago, I was bed-ridden, and I hadn’t left my house.”
One of the celebrity judges, Howie Mandel, suffers from the anxiety disorder OCD.
Mandel expressed his admiration for Clendening’s courage.
“People don’t really know what it takes, and how much suffering it is,” said Mandel. “For you to even show up today is so amazing.”
All four judges, also including Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern, said they were knocked out by her voice.
“Hands down, the most emotional,” said Stern. “It got me to feel the most. And I’m putting your story aside for a second. I’m talking about just how you sing. The emotion that your were feeling, you were able to take it, put it into your voice, and make me feel something.”
Judges voted unanimously to advance Chapel Hill’s contestant to the next round.
“America’s Got Talent” airs Tuesday nights at 8 on NBC.