Simon Cowell was immediately enthusiastic when he saw Amanda LaCount walk onto the America’s Got Talent stage. In an episode full of singers, LaCount, a plus-size dancer was bringing something new to the stage. She immediately began crying before showing the world her talents. But it was comments made by both Cowell and Heidi Klum that had the world buzzing.
LaCount strutted onto the stage in a floor-length red fur coat that immediately caught Cowell’s attention. “We need some dancers today,” he said after she introduced herself.
Simon Cowell Became A Huge Fan Of Amanda LaCount
For LaCount, this audition meant more to her than she could put into words. “I represent the people that feel like they’re not heard or feel like they’re not seen,” she said. As a plus-size dancer, she has been told that she is too big to dance and does not have the right body type to be a professional. Cowell asked, “who told you that?” LaCount went on to say that she has had strangers and parents say that to her. Cowell’s response was to tell them to shut up. Already, you could tell that he was a huge fan of hers and wanted to see her succeed in her routine. This new soft side of him has been refreshing especially when it comes to acts that have gone through bullying or hardships. They watched LaCount dance around the stage and it wasn’t long before Klum gave her an “X.”
Howie Mandel said that LaCount’s performance was inspiring but he also said “I don’t know if I would go see a whole show of you doing that.” Way to ruin the moment Howie. The entire audience was booing after he made this remark. But everyone wanted to know why Klum buzzed the act so quickly, especially when the audience was enjoying it. “I love your vibe, your spirit, your energy, I just don’t think it’s a million-dollar act, I’m sorry,” she said. Well Heidi, if you loved the act, why not put her through to the next round to see if she can up her performance factor? Cowell made sure to tell LaCount how special he thinks she is after Klum tore her down. “For me, I loved every moment of the audition. Your joy and enthusiasm is so contagious. You’re memorable,” he said which mad LaCount smile.
The Judges Voting Got A Little Heated As It Raised Questions About Body-Shaming And Fatphobia
Everybody was curious how the panel was going to vote, especially since everyone had extremely different opinions about whether or not LaCount could actually win the show. But Cowell pointed out that the point of having several judges is to get these different perspectives. With this, he was eager to give LaCount her first “yes.” But Klum was quick to give her a “no” and the crowd was not too happy about that. Sophia Vergara also gave LaCount a “yes” because she also wants to see more of her dancing.
And even Mandell who was skeptical at first listened to the audience and gave her another yes. He described it as giving her a “yes from the audience.” The thing is, that seemed a little rude. It needed to be a yes from Mandell himself to not sound cynical or seem like he was giving in to any sort of pressure. The girl is talented and already has a huge fan base so he and Klum both definitely made a lot of people angry. Cowell loved LaCount so much that he even went to go talk to her backstage. “You got a standing ovation from like 2,000 people. Now you just have to think in your head for the future, what’s next?” he told her.
There Was Tons Of Buzz Online About Heidi Being A Body-Shamer
Of course naturally, everyone’s first reaction to Klum not being a fan of LaCount is to delve deep into body-shaming. Klum has been a supermodel for a very long time. She has seen what the industry can do to people and how there is tremendous pressure to look a certain way, especially for Victoria’s Secret models like herself. If she really wanted to portray a new message of body confidence, she would not have buzzed LaCount in the first place. Klum’s remark when Cowell went to go comfort LaCount backstage really set people off. She said, “It’s the scariest thing when you have like thousands of people booing you.” The thing about it is that Klum went against the grain and added negativity to the audition when it could have been a positive experience to shut down body-shamers.
That is exactly why so many people were booing her. The fact of the Matter is, the audition was entertaining and way better than acts like the Demented Brothers that Klum went Gaga over later in the show. People on Twitter did not hold back from calling out Klum about this particular audition. One person said “Heidi I think I know WHY you would discourage a larger person NOT to dance. #fatphobia #bodyshaming / @SimonCowell Simon YOU ARE VERY SMART AND WISE!! WELL DONE!!”
Another Twitter user said, “you buzz an inspirational young woman who lays it all on the line, isn’t a skinny white woman like yourself, body shaming at its worst on national TV, she has more guts then you ever will.”
And perhaps in the most outraged tweet of all, one ‘AGT’ fan thinks Klum should be fired from the show. The Twitter user also praised Cowell for his faith in LaCount.
Why Was It So Important For Amanda LaCount To Share Her Story On ‘AGT’?
Amanda LaCount’s entire brand is based around breaking stereotypes and that just because she does not have the typical dancer body does not mean she isn’t good at what she does. There is a reason why so many people much like Simon Cowell have fallen in love with her talents, message and personality. For a girl who has literally been kicked off a dance team for her size in the past, LaCount needed support from all four judges because she wants people at home to know that the dream of being on a show like America’s Got Talent is possible.
Heidi Klum really could have contributed to a positive message for the show but was instead blinded by something as minuscule as weight that hindered her decision making during this audition. ‘AGT’ is all about giving people chances, and Klum was not withholding that when she judged LaCount right when she walked onto the stage.