Howie Mandel rips apart PAC Dance Team: ‘America’s Got Talent’ is ‘more than just a high school dance team’ [WATCH]

“America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel really, really doesn’t like PAC Dance Team. Back in their original audition he hit his red X during their “Wizard of Oz” routine, and now in Tuesday’s Judge Cuts 3 episode he X’ed their “Alice in Wonderland” performance. Despite Howie’s argument that NBC’s reality TV show is “more than just a high school dance team,” the other “AGT” judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Martina McBride — fought for the teens and advanced them to the live rounds. Watch the “Americas Got Talent” performance video above and read the judges’ comments below.

Howie: “We appreciate all the work and effort that you put in, but this is the biggest stage in the world for talent. Only seven can go through. This is hard for me to say, but this show is so much more than just a high school dance team.”

Heidi: “That’s pretty rough. I think you’re wrong. I definitely don’t think that this was buzzer-worthy. ‘America’s Got Talent’ is for everyone. It’s not just for people who are professional already.”

SEE Jeffrey Li could return as wildcard after shocking elimination on ‘AGT’ Judge Cuts

Martina: “Well, I loved that so much. I just love that you guys are just in the moment, loving it and having fun. You’re in high school, that’s what you should be doing.”

Simon: “I actually do think the show needs acts like you. The problem for me was that the tracks didn’t go with the theme that you were trying to do, so it didn’t tell the story well enough. You might have to blame your teacher for this, I’m afraid, because she chose the music. It wasn’t a good choice. I would be sorry to lose you guys because I love your energy enthusiasm and what you stand for. I think tonight we are going to have a lot more disagreements.”

In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper John Benutty wrote, “Tonight their performance was inspired by ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and was full of high energy pop and hip hop choreography, but failed to meet their goal — halfway through the audition Howie hit his red X. Though he appreciates all of their effort, he sees the show as seeking more than what a high school dance team can accomplish. Most of the rest of the panel disagreed with him, including Martina who said that they were doing exactly what they should be doing as high schoolers. Simon really likes the troupe, but was concerned that their music tonight did not match the theme and it made the performance suffer overall. That being said, it sounds like he still supports their presence on the show and may still lobby for them to advance!”

SIGN UP for Gold Derby’s newsletter with experts’ latest predictions

More News from GoldDerby