Talent Recap

Howie Mandel Goes Too Far Criticizing Madilyn Bailey’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Performance


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Madilyn Bailey decided to sing her original song “Red Ribbon” during tonight’s America’s Got Talent Semifinals. Though it was not the most technically perfect performance out there, Madilyn poured her heart into it. The song was written after her grandmother passed away from cancer. Howie Mandel’s comments after the performance were totally uncalled for.

Howie Mandel Directs Harsh Comments Towards Madilyn Bailey on ‘AGT’

Madilyn sat at the piano in a vibrant red outfit. She belted out “Red Ribbon,” a song she has a ton of experience performing. Some notes were a little off-key and some notes sounded awesome. It was a mixed bag. The feelings behind the song were really what made the performance so special.

Mandel has been hard on AGT singer Tory Vagasy this season when it comes to her Broadway voice. He did rip into Tory’s performance earlier in the night. Tory took his comments like a champ as always. It came as a shock that he decided to direct more harsh critiques at Madilyn later in the night.

“I didn’t think that was anything,” he said about Madilyn’s performance. “I think that you’re in the same lane as Tory.”

Mandel went on to say that he is “incredibly disappointed” with Madilyn’s act. He is still caught up on the song that she made out of mean comments during her AGT audition. Madilyn has not performed another mean comments song on the show since. She has taken a different route during the live shows performing other songs.


Thankfully, the other AGT judges were there to step in. Simon Cowell pretty much said that Mandel was talking out of his a**. Cowell really enjoyed the package before the performance and told Madilyn that he is very proud of her. Last week, Cowell told Madilyn that her performance of “Titanium” sounded “like a record.” He is clearly a very big fan of hers.

“Madilyn, good for you because that’s exactly what you want people to do in the semifinals, be true to who you are,” Cowell said.

After the performance, fans defended Madilyn on social media. Many wish Mandel would remember that Madilyn is not only a singer, she’s a song-writer as well.

“Howie’s criticism was cruel. She was vulnerable and performed an original while playing the piano, which not many singers on this show can do,” one fan wrote.

Fans also wrote that Mandel was “harsh” and “overly critical.” Considering this was a personal song written for Madilyn’s late grandmother, fans were supportive of Madilyn’s raw emotion.

“Thank you for the loveeeee,” Madilyn wrote in response. “It’s honestly so tough singing while being this emotional! that crack was wildly unexpected lollllllll”

Do you think Mandel’s comments towards Madilyn on AGT were too harsh?

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2 years ago

Howie was plainly out of order. Common decency would dictate a milder response given the context of the song. It was insensitive to say the least. More generally though, I have to agree that there is something missing in Marilyn’s originals. She has covered a lot of other peoples songs and I have been wowed by quite a few of them, but songwriting is another thing. It’s tough. I am sure Madilyn would agree. Take for example Marilyn’s Bad Habit versus Ed Sheerans Bad Habits. Sheeran is always clever with his lyrics and this shows in the songs he produces.… Read more »

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