“America’s Got Talent” high-kickers Emerald Belles returned during the first Judge Cuts episode to perform in front of Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, Howie Mandel and guest judge Brad Paisley. Previously Howie said that the 76-member dance troupe from Texas didn’t compare to the Rockettes, and now Julianne got on their bad side when she said the act contained “high school elements.” Hearing that, Simon meowed at her disrespectfully, starting a cat fight at the judging panel. Watch the “AGT” performance video above and read some of the judges’ comments below.
Julianne: “Okay, first of all, you guys again came out here, you performed, you were extremely tight and there’s no doubt about that. I do have to say though, it still had a bit of a high school element to it.”
Julianne: “Do not start with the meows! This is the second round, so I really think you have to up your game. But again, not to say that you didn’t do a great job.”
Gabrielle: “I think you actually got a lot better from the first audition and I definitely think that you’re worth fighting for, so great job, ladies.”
Howie: “To be honest with you, after being on this show so long, I don’t think it was enough. It’s not enough to win ‘America’s Got Talent,’ and I don’t even think it’s enough to move on to the next level. So we’ll see what happens.”
Simon: “I believe that you are ready now for a bigger stage and I think Texas will root for you, America will root for you. The fact there’s so many of you that we are able to capture your personality made this a great audition for me.”
Despite the negative comments, Emerald Belles was among the list of seven acts who made it through to the live shows at the Dolby Theatre. The other talented performers were Sophie Pecora, Berywam, Messoudi Brothers, Lukas & Falco, Ndiovu Youth Choir and Chris Klafford.
In his “AGT” live blog, our recapper Denton Davidson had this to say about the performance: “Then the Emerald Belles took the stage. They’re a 76-member drill dance team who are considered the modern-day Rockettes. Howie wasn’t impressed with their last audition and they’re determined to make him a fan. This group is massive and definitely fill up the stage and they show off their high kicks to Britney Spears‘ “Work Bitch.” The sheer number of them is a spectacle and they’ve got some impressive skills that inspired Brad to jump to his feet. Julianne thought they were great, but still feels there is a high school element to what they’re doing. Howie is still not impressed and told them it’s not enough.”