The judging on America’s Got Talent has often been questionable this season. Simon Cowell predictably favors singers, Howie Mandel praises everybody (as always), and even the lovely Mel B and Heidi Klum have had their moments. But everything we’ve seen thus far from the judges pales in comparison to their behavior tonight, which was unprofessional and unacceptable.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a fan of Tape Face. I typically love physical comedy, but I don’t find his act particularly entertaining. I have no idea why everybody loves him so much and am annoyed that so many better acts have been shoved aside in his favor.
I might not get the whole appeal of Tape Face, but I do believe that, like all contestants, he deserves a modicum of respect from the judges. Yes, even from Cowell. Unfortunately, respect was in short supply while Tape Face was on stage tonight.
The problems began right after Tape Face’s act ended. The judges were asked for feedback and, as expected, Cowell offered up a few harsh observations. He claimed, “I think, like Mel, you have the ability to do something stupid and be interesting at the same time.”
OK, that’s a fair comment, especially from the notoriously abrasive Cowell. But Mel B took issue with Cowell’s comment, and not because she wanted to stick up for Tape Face. She stood up to chastise Cowell, grabbed Klum’s drink and proceeded to toss it at her nemesis judge — and at the audience! She apologized to the viewers and then returned to her chief mission of soaking Cowell. Meanwhile, Klum and Mandel were left to discuss the act as best they could.
There’s nothing wrong with the judges goofing off, but they definitely crossed the line tonight. They failed to provide any meaningful feedback for Tape Face, who, in my opinion, could clearly use it. They also hogged the spotlight during what was supposed to be the contestant’s big moment.
I get that the judges play a huge role in getting viewers to tune in, but I don’t want to see them being ridiculous. I want them to give actionable advice based on their years of success in the entertainment industry. And I want them to treat the show’s hardworking contestants with the respect they deserve. Apparently, that’s too much to ask.