Manny Torres American Idol 2016 Finalist: His Journey So Far [VIDEOS]

Smooth-talking soul singer Manny Torres tried out for The Voice before coming to American Idol, but didn’t make it far enough to go through the blind auditions. His time on American Idol 2016 has been much more fruitful, as we’ve watched him climb all the way up to being a finalist. We wouldn’t necessarily have picked Manny out from auditions to make it to the Top 14, but he’s continued to surprise us week after week with his beautiful voice and consistent stage performances.

Manny Torres American Idol Hollywood Week (FOX/YoUTube)
Manny Torres performs on American Idol 2016 (FOX/YouTube)

The son of a pastor, Manny Torres started off playing music in the church band, and taught himself to play guitar and piano. It was only when he started singing, however, that he felt he’d finally found his musical destiny. He may not have made it as far as he’d hoped on The Voice, but the rejection didn’t diminish his drive to follow his dreams. So when the chance came for him to audition for American Idol 2016, he took the leap once again in hopes that this reality TV talent show would end up being his true vehicle to stardom. (Read more on Manny’s backstory on his Top 24 profile page.)

Audition: Manny Torres established his smooth-talking, ladies man persona on American Idol right from the start. The first words out of his mouth during his audition were to tell Jennifer Lopez she looked beautiful. Compliments won’t get you a Golden Ticket, however. Instead, it was Manny’s energetic rendition of “This Love” by Maroon 5 that sold the American Idol judges on his talent. Jennifer Lopez told Manny she dug him and he sounded great. Harry Connick Jr. told Manny he didn’t even need to hear anything else from him to know how good he was. It was big yes votes from all three of the celebrity panel for Manny to move on to Hollywood.

Hollywood Week Lines of 8 Solos: For his first Hollywood solo, Manny Torres gave the judges another sweet performance with his rendition of “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd. Jennifer Lopez was so into the song, she closed her eyes and just started swaying to the beat. Keith and Harry also looked like they were thoroughly enjoying Manny’s time on stage, so it was not surprise that he made it through to the Group Round.

Hollywood Week Group Round: In the Group Round, Manny’s team hit a snag when their fourth group member, La’Porsha Renae, left them to help out two other contestants. Even though they had lost hours in rehearsal time and had to redo their entire performance, the ‘Rebirth’ team pulled it together beautifully. Keith Urban actually gave the group a standing ovation and applause. J-Lo and Harry also totally loved the group and thought they were terrific. Keith actually called Manny out in particular for driving the performance and said it was one of the best performances of the day.

Hollywood Week Solo Round: We weren’t able to dig up Manny’s second solo during Hollywood Week, but obviously the judges were impressed enough by it to send him to the Showcase Round.

Showcase Round & Final Judgement: For the Showcase Round, Manny took on “Master Blaster” by Stevie Wonder and once again gave a solid and entertaining turn on the stage. He had the live audience clapping and dancing along throughout the performance. Up in the American Idol judges’ loft, Keith Urban and J-Lo also couldn’t help but bob their heads to the rhythm as well. There was a lot of stiff competition among the remaining guys for spots in the Top 24, but the judges couldn’t help but reward Manny with one of them for his consistently strong performances and crowd appeal.

Top 24 Semi-Finals Solo Round: In the Top 24 solo round, Manny put his own spin on “Adventure of A Lifetime” by Coldplay and once again had the audience clapping along with the soulful singer. Manny certainly always looks comfortable and confident on stage, no matter what he’s singing. Jennifer Lopez did tell Manny she felt he could have connected a little bit more with the audience, but he sounded really good. Harry also thought Manny could have been a bit more emotive with the lyrics, but did a great job. Keith thought the song really suited Manny’s spirit.

Top 24 Semi-Finals Duet Round: For his Top 24 duet, Manny was paired up with former American Idol star Jordin Sparks on her hit song with Chris Brown, “No Air.” Keith thought the two of them were really “great together,” and it was “like a real moment of powerhouse duet time.” Jennifer Lopez said it “couldn’t have been more perfect” than the two of them. Harry was impressed that Manny managed to make him take his eyes off Jordan during the performance and thought the two of them sounded really terrific.

Will Manny Torres make it through the next cut to be part of the American Idol 2016 Top 10? We’ll bring you all the latest American Idol spoilers on the next round of the competition as they happen!