‘AGT’ Season 17: Simon and Howie disappoint fans as they say NO to The Lads


The Lads are an acrobatic duet comprised of Jack from the UK and Tiago from Portugal. Their audition split the judging panel, with fans criticizing the judges for saying no to the acrobats.

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The ninth and last set of initial acts competing for quarter-final positions was aired on the August 2 broadcast. The last audition round included a duo seeking to impress the judges and fulfill their Vegas dream. The pair mostly performs at festivals and circuses around Europe. They are known for their hand-to-hand combat and other acrobatic performances.

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The LADS in ‘AGT’ Season 17 (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

The Lads, who met each other when they were 12 years old, try to execute acrobatic gymnastics in ways that no one else has. Tonight they performed “hand-to-hand” acrobatics, in which one is on the bottom and the other is on top while balancing in unimaginable ways. Their last act required the bottom one to descend the stage and ascend the steps while the upper one balanced on his head with only one hand. Heidi said their movement was “so smooth and elegant,” and Sofia thought it was fantastic. Howie claims that leaving the stage is what distinguishes them from other hand balances, but he still doesn’t think it’s that unique. Simon concurred, describing it as tough but gradual, and stating that he was not “jumping out of his chair.” Simon cast the first negative vote, followed by Sofia and Heidi’s yes votes. It came down to Howie casting the deciding vote. With the audience cheering behind him, he stated it wasn’t explosive or “a wow,” so he said no.

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Fans took to Twitter to slam Howie and Simon for not letting The Lads advance to the following round. A fan wrote: “Howie, being the jerk judge again. Boooo Howie #AGT.” Another fan tweeted: “What is wrong with these judges tonight that act was great can’t believe they say no #AGT.” Some fans question how the judges could allow some less talented performers to advance but not The Lads: “you passed through a woman who can kinda maybe not really be a ventriloquist but not the man who just walked with another man on his head okay #agt .” Calling out Howie for not paying heed to the live audience, a Twitter user wrote: “@howiemandel to the audience: “okay, okay, I hear you.” *turns to look at the act* “I heard them but I don’t care, it’s a no.” @AGT #AGT.” Another viewer tagging Howie asked: “@howiemandel why didn’t you let the Balancing Guys through?!! #AGT.”

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Being disappointed after not seeing The Lads advance, a fan wrote: “I never see someone walk off the stage before with another person hand standing with one arm on there head. this act deserves 4 yes smh #AGT.” Praising the performance and calling it dangerous, a fan tweeted: “I haven’t commented about #AGT throughout this season, ’till now. Those two guys did something I haven’t seen, dangerous balancing while walking (& off the stage too ); begs the question, why @nbc still being nice to @howiemandel? Once again WRONG! Also surprised Simon didn’t enjoy.”

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‘America’s Got Talent’ airs on Tuesdays at 8 pm on NBC. For viewers who wish to tune in to the show without cable, they can do so using any of the following streaming services: Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, AT&T TV or YouTube TV.

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