If you watched Tuesday’s new episode of America’s Got Talent, you might remember an audition from a singer named Mennel. Although the show seemed to suggest that Mennel was rejected by the judges after a nervous audition, she’s setting the record straight on social media, and fans are outraged. [UPDATE: Scroll down to see Mennel’s video reaction]
What AGT Showed
America’s Got Talent showed Mennel’s audition only briefly. She appears to tell the judges that she’s nervous before performing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” The show then cuts to Simon Cowell raising his hand to quiet the audience, before asking her to sing a second song and offering her a sip of his water.
She then performs “Say Something” by A Great Big World. The judges seem to criticize the performance, with Howie pointing out her nerves and telling her, “I want to feel like you love every second of this and don’t want it to end.” The show doesn’t actually reveal the judges’ votes, but the implication is that she didn’t make it through.
What Mennel Says Happened
The singer took to her Instagram Stories after the episode to share what she says really happened in her audition, and how the show allegedly edited it to be misleading. She says the “real truth” is that she actually received four “yes” votes from the judges.
Mennel also says “Simon never put his hand up” like the show depicted. She added her belief that AGT edited her audition to make it look like she “failed.” Why? Because, in her words, the show “needed to justify why I wasn’t continuing even though I got 4 yes.” She then posted a photo of herself with Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” playing over it, calling it her “mood.” [Update: Scroll down to see her video responses]
The clip certainly looks heavily edited. The show continuously cuts to the next contestant, comedian Kevin Schwartz, as if he’s looking on while she performs. It also ultimately leaves Mennel’s fate ambiguous, showing her walking off stage as if she got rejected.
Mennel doesn’t say why she apparently didn’t end up continuing on the show. She had been excitedly hyping up her appearance on Instagram in the days leading up to it. She even shared a promo video from the show which featured a brief shot of her.
Who Is Mennel?
Mennel Ibtissem is a singer from France. AGT is actually not her first experience on a talent show. Last year, she appeared on the French version of The Voice and went viral for her performance of “Hallelujah.” However, she ended up quitting the show after the internet uncovered controversial comments she made about terrorist attacks in France.
It’s not clear whether these comments have anything to do with why she didn’t continue on AGT. It seems like the show would have known about them prior to her audition, since the controversy happened over a year ago. In an Instagram comment, Mennel tells a fan she’s going to “make a video and explain the real truth,” so maybe that will shed some light on why she didn’t move forward.
What Do Mennel’s Fans Say?
In her Instagram Stories, Mennel calls on her fans to “complain to AGT” if they thought the show’s alleged treatment of her was unfair. From looking at online comments, it certainly appears that many of her followers are angry over the audition.
“In the end, they are the real losers,” one fan wrote on Instagram (translated from French). “You deserve better than that,” another fan wrote, while another called it “scandalous” (both translated). Commenters on Talent Recap’s video of Mennel’s audition were also angry. One wrote that she was a “victim of editing,” while another called AGT‘s editing “bullshit.”
Judging from her social media, Mennel seems to be taking the controversy in stride, announcing to her 250,000 Instagram followers on Wednesday that she has new music coming soon.