Simon Cowell made a bold statement on Tuesday’s episode of “America’s Got Talent” that took his fellow judge Howie Mandel by surprise. “People who judge other people are idiots,” said the most iconic judge in reality TV history. He quickly clarified his point when Howie humorously pointed out that they were literally sitting on a judging panel. “No, judge for the wrong reasons!” Simon asserted while Sofia Vergara chuckled beside him. Simon was speaking to singer Shaquira McGrath, who was auditioning after spending years plagued by negative comments about her appearance. Watch Shaquira’s audition above.
“For the last 20 plus years I’ve been too insecure to go out there and show my talent and be myself,” the aspiring singer from Kennesaw, Georgia told host Terry Crews before taking the stage. “This is my moment to do that.” After taking her place in front of the judges, Shaquira told them she was a server at the Atlanta Braves Stadium and would be singing for the judges, not delivering food!
“All the time,” she responded when Howie asked her if she ever sings at work. “I literally sing walking through the door. I sing to the tables when it’s their birthdays, we’ll have little concerts in the back during downtime. It’s all we do.”
Next Howie asked if this was her dream. “To sing in the back with the cooks?” she joked before taking a serious tone. “It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do but when I was younger people would do that thing like, ‘Oh you sound so amazing but you could be a little thinner.’ Or, ‘You could be a little taller.’ So I never put myself out there like I should have. It’s been 25 years of being an idiot and just getting inside of your head. It’s just too long. It’s time.”
It was at that moment Simon made a harsh criticism of those who judge others, which his fellow judges and the audience all found a bit humorous. Next, Shaquira performed a surprising rendition of Gretchen Wilson‘s “Redneck Woman.” After a standing ovation from the judges and audience, Shaquira broke down in tears.
“You have a great, great voice,” Simon commented. “This is what I dream about,” Shaquira responded. “Yea I sing in my bathroom in the dark, but in my mind this is what I’m picturing.” Next Sofia chimed in, saying “I’m not an expert on music, but I know what I like. This is something I loved.” All three judges were in agreement that Shaquira deserved to move on to the next round of the competition.