America’s Got Talent: Simon Cowell gets booed by live audience after calling country singer Kylie Frey’s barefoot performance a ‘manic mess’
- The 63-year-old franchise creator and judge was candid with country singer Kylie after she performed an original song in an attempt to make the finals
- The audience booed Simon over his critique of the singer after he described it as a ‘manic mess’
- Eleven acts took the stage during the two-hour episode on NBC as they competed for two spots in the season 18 finals
The 63-year-old franchise creator, executive producer and judge was candid with Kylie after she performed an original song barefoot in an attempt to make the finals.
‘We really like you from your first audition and you’ve got a great personality,’ Simon said. ‘I think a lot of people are going to really like you. I’m glad that you brought the energy. However, I think you were trying to do so much. It was like a manic mess. Look, It might sound better when you are sitting at home watching it on TV. Where I was sitting it was like ”whoa” there were some notes that didn’t sound in tune.’
The audience booed Simon over his critique of the singer.
‘I can only tell you how I felt,’ said Simon, who told Kylie she was the ‘real deal’ during her audition.
Before she took the stage, Kylie, from Opelousas, Louisiana, said she was blown away when country legend Reba McEntire, 68, shared her audition performance on social media and later even recorded one of her original songs.
Kylie sang another original song titled I Do Thing for her performance, but when she finished both Howie Mandel, 67, and Sofia Vergara, 51, pointed out that something happened with her voice during parts of the song and they couldn’t hear all of the lyrics.
‘I was just having fun man,’ Kylie said.
Zion Clark, a disabled gymnast from Canton, Ohio, who grew up in the foster care system, was the first contestant of the episode’s 11 acts competing for two spots in the season 18 finals. Zion had the words ‘no excuses’ tattooed across his back.
He rode to the set on a skateboard and said he wanted his act to motivate and encourage others. He ripped off his shirt and then jumped across the stage, hung from rings, climbed a pole by only using his arms. He climbed to the top of a set and then played the drums.
‘You are a huge force of positivity and strength,’ Heidi Klum, 50, said.
‘I think you just booked yourself a place in the final in two weeks,’ Simon said. ‘That was amazing.’
Puppet Simon and the Cowgirls, a puppetry act with a puppet of Simon, took the stage next. Puppet Simon played the piano and sang. Sofia buzzed the act, but then a puppet came out dressed like Sofia and sang and danced. Sofia laughed but then Simon hit his buzzer, too.
‘It started well and then it just got increasingly worse,’ Simon said. ‘The singing was so bad.’
‘The Latin flavor changed the whole act,’ Sofia said.
Singer Roland Abante, who works as a fisherman in the Philippines and sings karaoke, went next and was excited by the support he got since his audition. He said people had stepped in and provided him with electricity in his small house and for the first time he celebrated his birthday.
He poured his heart into singing Dolly Parton’s hit song I Will Always Love You. The judges and the audience gave him a standing ovation.
‘Roland, bravo!’ Sofia said. ‘Look at everyone here. They are going crazy for you. ‘
When asked if he liked it Simon said no.
‘I loved it!’ Simon said.
‘The perfect song, the perfect voice, it was spectacular, ‘ Howie said. ‘You said I will always love you. I think you just made everyone in the world love you.’
Maria Andrea, a 15-year-old dancer from Mexico, who transforms from being sweet to terrifying, celebrated her birthday on the show.
‘The best birthday gift I could get,’ Maria said before she performed.
Maria wore an all-black outfit as she danced across the stage in front of a wall of fire.
‘First of all Happy Birthday,’ Simon said. ‘I think you are very, very interesting. My only disappointment was I liked it when you were really, really scary in the audition.’
‘It was pretty scary and you are very powerful,’ Heidi said. ‘You’re a force on that stage.’
Show host Terry Crews, 55, read out messages from viewers and said that one of them compared Simon’s rose-colored glasses to a fly.
‘That is spot on,’ Simon said when the show put up a side by side picture of him next to a fly.
Group Golden Buzzer winners Chibi Unity, a dance group from Japan, wowed the audience and judges with their synchronized moves to the music all dressed in white. All the judges were on their feet when they finished.
‘Breathtaking,’ Sofia said. ‘I could watch you guys perform for hours. That was amazing!’
‘This was like watching a really cool Nike commercial or something,’ Simon said. ‘You’re very stylish. The music choice was amazing. I really like you. This is one of the best acts we’ve seen this year.’
The Freedom Singers, a group from Skid Row in Los Angeles, sang a moving rendition of the Phil Collins hit song Another Day In Paradise.
‘That was perfection,’ Sofia said. ‘The outfits, the voices, the song.’
‘This was a massive, massive step up from your first audition,’ Simon said.
‘The show is America’s Got Talent and some of that talent is unhoused,’ Howie said. ‘And we walk by these tents, and we walk by these people and it’s like them and us. Just to hear you and to see you we realize you are us.’
Orlando Leyba, a stand-up comic from Miami, took the stage and made jokes about being married for 20 years while his wife was laughing along in the audience. He joked he didn’t trust married guys who had a six pack.
‘Who are you Terry Crews?’ Orlando said.
‘Orlando you are a natural,’ Howie said.
For the next performance, all the judges went to the stage to participate in Anna DeGuzman’s ‘Cardistry’ act, which is the close-up art of manipulating paying cards. She had the judges sit on stools watching her act and pulled cards from the deck which she then magically selected. She pulled Heidi’s card, the Queen of Hearts, out of her mouth.
‘I call that the queen of Covid,’ Howie quipped.
She then brought a cake on the stage and pulled out Howie’s signed card.
‘We need more female magicians!’ Heidi said. ‘I really like you.’
‘It was super fun to be there with you, to see what you were doing,’ Sofia said.
D’Corey Johnson, a 11-year-old singer from Louisville, Kentucky, sang Wishing On A Star.
‘I loved it,’ Heidi said.
‘They are going to love you tonight because you are adorable,’ Simon said. ‘You’ve got the best personality. I love the fact that you know who you want to be as an artist in years to come. You controlled the song and it was really, really good.’
D’Corey said he was inspired to sing by his sister who had been sick for many years.
Shadow Ace, who grew up with no electricity in the Philippines so he entertained himself by making shadow puppets, went next. Terry said his audition had received an astonishing 213 million views. For his performance, he did several songs including I Will Survive with his hand dancing along. Shadow Ace then came out from behind the screen and showed the audience how he did his act.
‘What a night and what a way to finish,’ Simon said. ‘I was thinking how is this going to play in the finals but it was even better than the first time we saw you. ‘
‘You are so creative,’ Sofia said. ‘I think you could actually win AGT.’
‘This proves to all people that a young man alone in a dark room can have so much fun with just his hands,’ Howie quipped
America’s Got Talent will return Wednesday on NBC with the results of viewer voting.