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So Many Disappointing Acts! Are ‘AGT’s Standards Slipping?

Jill O'Rourke

Jill O'Rourke

NBC

The AGT quarterfinals have featured some pretty disappointing acts this season. In fact, last week’s episode included what might have been the two worst live performances in America’s Got Talent history.


Are the judges’ standards slipping in terms of what they’ll let through to this stage of the competition? Is the show bringing the wrong acts back as wildcards? Is America correcting AGT‘s mistakes as we move toward the semifinals? Let’s take a look.

Nick and Lindsey were THE WORST LIVE PERFORMANCE EVER not just because Simon Cowell said it.

The AGT Judges Made Some Questionable Choices

The quarterfinals are the first round in which AGT viewers get to vote for their favorite acts. The acts who have been performing for the past three weeks were chosen during the Judge Cuts. It makes you wonder what the judges were thinking.

Last week’s show featured a disastrous knife-throwing performance from Nick & Lindsay. Simon said it was the worst live performance he’s ever seen on the show. So how did this pair make it so far in the competition?


If you look back at Nick & Lindsay’s Judge Cuts performance, there were already signs that the act was suffering. For instance, one of the knives Lindsay threw didn’t stick in the wall, which happened again in the quarterfinals. Plus, the judges’ critiques were pretty mediocre. Howie Mandel said neither their knife-throwing nor their violin-playing was very good.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nxvzl0JlqLo
Funny Tambourine Man Gonzo was such an epic fail that Simon pressed his buzzer in the middle of the performance.

This week, the act that made us scratch our heads over the judges’ choices was Gonzo, the wacky tambourine player. Putting one silly novelty act through for laughs might be forgivable, had the show not also chosen so many other disappointing acts — including wildcards.

Why Were These Wildcard Acts Chosen?

Last week, the Sentimentalists returned after being eliminated in the Judge Cuts round. Their quarterfinals performance turned out to be quite a disaster. It involved Steffi Kay guessing what the judges were tasting, with several incorrect guesses and awkward pauses. They were eliminated in the results show.


When the saving grace of an act is Howie Mendel rating all the dessert, you know the act was baaaad.

This week, the show chose to bring back aerialist Matthew Richardson. Although Julianne Hough praised his latest performance, and Gabrielle got flirty with him, the other judges weren’t as complimentary — particularly Simon. He buzzed the act, and said “it’s not going any further.” Howie said it was “more of the same, but moist.”

It could be argued that Ansley Burns, the first wildcard of the season, was a more successful choice, considering she made it through to the semifinals. However, America didn’t vote her straight through — she made it on the Dunkin’ Save. One might wonder how many second chances she’s going to get, especially since Simon stopped both of her previous performances mid-song.

AGT Quarterfinals 2 results weren’t as shocking as you would think, especially since America saved all the acts worth saving.

America And The Judges Don’t Always Agree

Now that America has a chance to vote for which acts make it through, it’s becoming clear that the viewers and judges don’t always see eye to eye. For instance, two of this season’s Golden Buzzer acts have already been eliminated.

Joseph Allen, the rapper with the inspiring lyrics who received Howie’s Golden Buzzer, was voted off last week. Before that, Brad Paisley’s Golden Buzzer Sophie Pecora (another young songwriter) lost to Ansley Burns in the Dunkin’ Save.

Of course, America has also voted to eliminate some of the disappointing acts previously mentioned. It makes you wonder what the quarterfinals might look like if America had a say earlier on in the competition. Would acts like Nick & Lindsay and Gonzo be replaced by better acts that the judges chose to eliminate?

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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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