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How Queen Latifah Brought ‘Mama Energy’ To ‘AGT’

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

NBC

On Tuesday night, Queen Latifah appeared as a guest judge for the AGT semifinals. Although she didn’t get a say in who moves on to the finals, the actress brought plenty of positive vibes to the table.


Before the show, judge Julianne Hough told People that Latifah would “bring mama energy” to the show. “She’s gonna bring grace, love and support,” she added. “People are going to feel confident and supported.” That was certainly the case, as Latifah shared supportive words for pretty much every act she saw.

Queen Latifah appears as a guest judge in the “AGT” semifinals.

Queen Latifah Supports Young ‘AGT’ Stars

Several young performers appeared in Tuesday’s semifinals episode, and Latifah’s “mama energy” definitely came across when talking to them. Their smiles showed just how much her words meant to them.

“Every single piece and particle of your body was in that song, and in that place, and you took us there with you,” she told 12-year-old singer Luke Islam. “So keep doing that, and you daggone sure gonna be on Broadway.”


Luke Islam receives a rave review from Queen Latifah in the “AGT” semifinals.

Latifah also had words of encouragement for 10-year-old opera singer Emanne Beasha, whom she called “unbelievable.” She added, “Your confidence is just gorgeous, so just keep doing what you do.”

She also told 18-year-old guitarist Marcin Patrzalek, “You had percussion, you had accompaniment, but you could have done that by yourself, because you were killing it by yourself.”

Queen Latifah shares what she thought of the Detroit Youth Choir in the “AGT” semifinals.

Queen Latifah Relates To ‘AGT’ Talent

Another positive aspect of Latifah’s judging approach was her knack for relating to the acts on stage. After several performances, she shared details from her own life which gave her a unique understanding of the performers’ goals.


“As the daughter of a teacher, I know how much it means to bring the best out of the youth, to bring the best out of children, and to see something in them that they don’t even see in themselves,” she told Detroit Youth Choir director Anthony White. “And you have truly done that, and we are thoroughly entertained by it.”

Queen Latifah said Ryan Niemiller “mastered” self-deprecating comedy in the “AGT” semifinals.

After comedian Ryan Niemiller’s performance, Latifah related his approach to her experience with hip-hop battles. “One of the best things you can do is be self-deprecating. Say everything about yourself, and you take the power out of the hands of the other people,” she told him. “You have not only done that, but you have mastered it, and made it hilarious.”

During the final act of the night, military choir Voices of Service, Latifah said she was reminded of her own veteran father. “I think about my mom telling me when she would have to wake my father up out of his nightmares from Vietnam,” she said. “What you’re doing does have a purpose. It will continue to have a purpose.”

We would love to see Queen Latifah return as a guest judge in future seasons of the show. What sort of act do you think she would hit the Golden Buzzer for? Let us know in the comments.

And did you check out Simon Cowell’s son Eric singing? It’s adorable!

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About the Author

Jill O'Rourke
Jill O’Rourke is a contributor at Talent Recap, writing news stories and recaps for shows like ‘AGT,’ ‘The Voice,’ and ‘American Idol.’ She graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and Film Studies, and has been writing about pop culture since 2012, with previous bylines at Crushable and A Plus. Jill spends her free time binge-watching sitcoms and daydreaming about life as a hobbit

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