Every season on America’s Got Talent, at least one questionable act makes the live shows, somehow surpassing legions of contestants who, according to upset viewers, possess far more talent. The addition of the golden buzzer has made this phenomenon far more common, as the judges and host can immediately send somebody through based on their personal biases.
This year’s unexpected addition can thank Nick Cannon for her presence in the live shows. Cannon took a real shine to Dorothy Williams, a 90-year-old burlesque dancer and cancer survivor. Williams’ story is compelling, and she certainly has a charming personality, but a lot of people have objected to the fact that she made the live shows, especially as her chances of once again moving on in the competition seem minimal.
Those who resent Williams’ presence in the live shows feel that she took an opportunity away from several more deserving contestants. Several annoyed viewers voiced their displeasure on Twitter:
— Kemu (@kemu808) July 27, 2016
Nope. She's not getting my vote. Sorry, Dorothy. The only reason you got the dumb golden buzzer is being you're 90, and a woman. #AGT
— TrinityGrace Swander (@TrinityGrace_S) July 27, 2016
OMG NOOOOOOOO!!! KEEP YOUR CLOTHES ON DOROTHY #AGT
— ShaunaBoo (@x__lag__x) July 27, 2016
Other viewers have made a point of defending Williams, insisting that she has a certain charming quality that nobody else could hope to emulate.
YAAAASSSS DOROTHY WILLIAMS #AGT
— Brianna (@briannamaria95) July 27, 2016
Dorothy has got spunk. #AGT
— Jakey Kriegz (@Krunkionaire) July 27, 2016
I can see both sides of the argument. As lovely and inspiring as Williams is, I do feel that she is out of her league in the live shows. And yes, I believe that a few of the contestants who didn’t make the cut were more talented than Williams. However, the hate really shouldn’t be directed at her. I doubt she ever expected to make it this far — like many, I think she just wanted to be an inspiration, even if that meant being sent home right after her audition. Ultimately, Nick Cannon is responsible for her presence in the live shows. It’s just not fair to trash a 90-year-old cancer survivor; she didn’t force Cannon to hit the golden buzzer.
Dorothy Williams may not be the most talented or most impressive of the contestants featured in the Season 11 live shows, but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be badmouthed on Twitter. She’s definitely not my first choice for the finale, but I think it’s great that she continues to pursue her love of the stage.