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Many of the contestants that walk through the doors of America’s Got Talent can be a little… shall we say tone deaf. But this may be the first time in the history of the 12-year show that we’ve seen an actual deaf contestant grace the stage.

And grace the stage she did. Twenty-nine-year-old Mandy Harvey lost her hearing due to a connective tissue illness when she was 18 years old. Before that she had been singing her whole life, and was even studying to be a vocal jazz professor. When she lost her hearing she gave it all up… until now that is.

“I want to do more with my life than just give up,” she explained via a translator to the nervous-looking judges, as led by Simon Cowell. And so Harvey began training again, figuring out her pitch with machinery and muscle memory, and by feeling the music.

That’s why she grabbed her ukulele and kicked off her shoes to perform a song she wrote herself, “Try,” on the season’s second episode this week. From there it didn’t take long for the judges’ nervous faces to transform into ones of wonder, because Harvey’s pretty voice and equally pretty song definitely blew them — and us — away.

The crowd, and Howie Mandell, may have been the first ones on their feet before Harvey could even finish her inspirational song, but by the end of it, everyone in the house was giving a standing ovation, and all four of the judges were positively grinning.

Obviously, so was Harvey.

“Mandy, I don’t think you’re going to need a translator for this,” Cowell finally said, once the cheering somewhat died down. He then slammed that golden buzzer with gusto, making it rain golden confetti on stage and heading up there for a celebratory hug.

“That was incredible,” he told her. “I mean I’ve done this for a long time and that was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen and heard.”

Yeah, so there were basically no dry eyes in the house after that. And here we thought Cowell was just another surly Brit. Turns out, with the right heartfelt story and amazing voice, he too can be swayed.

Apparently Cowell wasn’t the only one who was a massive fan of the performance. Last year’s child prodigy winner (and fellow ukulele lover) Grace VanderWaal caught the show and she’s now convinced that Harvey is going to win this thing. In fact the two of them had a pretty cute exchange/love fest on Twitter following the show.

Congrats Mandy — here’s hoping that if you don’t actually win this thing, you make it really, really far.