Why ‘America’s Got Talent’ Desperately Needs to Bring Back Judge Cuts

Samantha Agate
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America's Got Talent JudgesNBC

For two consecutive weeks, the America’s Got Talent live shows have been a serious disappointment. Even though the first week was not the best, it still was a step above the live acts we have seen recently. A majority of the acts have crumbled on the stage in front of live audiences. Is the absence of Judge Cuts to blame for the underwhelming live shows?


The Redditors and the Twitterverse have spoken and they want AGT Judge Cuts back. Both platforms are full of posts raising questions about how Judge Cuts would have changed the outcome of the lackluster live shows. We never expected so many acts to bomb on live television. This is so far the most baffling season of AGT by a mile.

Failed ‘AGT’ Quarterfinal Acts Could Have Been Prevented with Judge Cuts

Each season of AGT normally has Judge Cuts to narrow down the group of acts going to the live shows. It serves as one last chance for the acts to impress the judges. Judge Cuts essentially separate the good acts from the bad. Since AGT did not have Judge Cuts this year, the judges were not able to see which acts actually have Las Vegas potential and who is a one-time novelty.

Simon Cowell’s patience is wearing thin on AGT. Acts like Sethward, Klek Entos, Johnny Showcase, and Keith Apicary earned red buzzers during the live shows. Had the judges seen them perform for a second time in the Judge Cuts, these acts might not have even made it through at all. Cowell has thrown around the words “horrific” and “terrible” when critiquing these acts.


The head judge also absolutely ripped into legendary voice artist Michael Winslow for his Quarterfinals performance. One noticeable trend in the Quarterfinals has been the camera panning to Cowell’s blank expression. Gone are the constant standing ovations for acts that impressed the judges.

Cowell knows talent when he sees it. He now gives the vibe that he knows the judges dropped the ball with their Top 36 picks. Rialcris and Aidan Bryant as the two best performances in the Quarterfinals was not what we initially predicted for Season 16. Thankfully, the handful of acts that were able to rise to the occasion are saving the show.

Next Season Needs to Go Back to the Original Show Format

There was a ton of outrage when the Top 36 was announced this season. Several early AGT auditions standouts were missing from the lineup. Gabriella Laberge, Cam Bertrand, and Danila Bim were snubbed. One more performance in the Judge Cuts could have changed their fate and led them on the path to $1 million.


After watching Positive Impact Movement miss a jump shot on stage and UniCircle Flow fall off of their unicycles, something needs to change. It is obvious that more thought needs to be put into who makes it to the live shows next season. This would prevent strong acts from going home and underwhelming acts from making it through.

AGT is looking for acts to audition for Season 17. The show will most likely return during its usual summer time slot in 2022. It’s never too early to start thinking about what the format of the show will be. Cowell should make the decision to bring Judge Cuts back after seeing how much the show is really affected by its absence.

Would you like to see AGT bring back Judge Cuts next season?

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