Talent Needed|

Photo: AGT Judges | By Paulette Cohn, Yahoo Entertainment | Pay ‘tention here, folks! Learn from the judges! | Night four of America’s Got Talent’s Live Shows was a surprise as several of the acts received criticism from the judges, especially when Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara thought that their Live Show performances hadn’t risen to a level above their audition.

“You have to judge harder. You have to be more critical. It is what it is,” Howie told reporters in a press conference after the show. “I do get jaded. Here we are on the fourth night of Lives, and I might not have buzzed [someone] if this was the first night of Live Shows but being the fourth live show and seeing what has made it through, and how many acts have been cut that are so much better that as we get closer and closer to the end, you have to judge harder.”

An example Howie cited was ventriloquist Jack Williams. Last week, Celia Muñoz, also a ventriloquist, made it to the top 3 before being eliminated, and according to Howie, Jack’s material did not rise to what she did, nor was he as original.

“I have seen remote control puppetry before,” Howie said. “We’ve had it on the show. We actually had a winner do something like that where the puppet was a face mask. [Jack’s] voices were not as intelligibly different from the puppets to him, so that was in my head. I was sitting there thinking, ‘Celia could be in the finals, and if she got into the finals, she could win.’ Compared to that, that’s not what I saw here.”

But Howie will concede that there is another factor to take into consideration: the additional pressure that the acts performing on night four may feel after having seen who went home from the previous three nights.

“That’s the litmus test in this business,” he said. “When you get knocked down, how do you stand up under pressure? How do you perform in the worst situations? That’s what separates the big boys from the rest of the pack. I think tonight you saw a lot of people getting crushed under a ton of pressure.”
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Go here to read the whole article including Heidi’s comments and videos of the acts:

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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