One of the best things about watching America’s Got Talent is that you never know what you’re going to get, especially in the early rounds. Contestants aren’t restricted to a single category, such as singing or dancing. Instead, they’re welcome to bring any talent they believe to be display-worthy.
From pizza spinning to ax throwing to mind-blowing acrobatics to piano-playing chickens, the AGT judges have seen it all. Or so they thought.
During a recent round of auditions, 28-year-old Shenay took the stage. The young contestant then announced that she brought an animal that has never been on the show, leading to a mixture of shock and uncertainty from Sofia Vergara.
The audience looked questioningly at the polka-dotted America’s Got Talent hopeful as well. Shenay promised an “animal act,” but there seemed to be no such animal in sight.
Rather than perform on stage, Shenay walked to a small table arranged directly in front of the judges, the audience applauding her along the way. When she arrived, however, encouragement from the audience quickly turned to shouts of horror.
Shenay revealed the “animal” to be three massive Madagascar hissing cockroaches, each of which she named after a judge.
She then put the cockroaches through an “obstacle course,” where the cockroaches were meant to jump through hoops, climb stairs, and scurry into houses. Instead of the roaches performing the tricks themselves, however, Shenay simply pushed them through the various pieces of miniature playground equipment.
‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge Simon Cowell Says ‘Yes’ to Cockroach ‘Stunts,’ Enrages Fans
While Sofia Vergara attempted to use Simon Cowell as a shield, Heidi Klum almost instantly pressed “No.” Sofia then tried to press “No” for Simon, but he refused. Rather than expressing shock or disgust like his fellow judges, Simon allowed Shenay to finish her act without even a hint of judgment on his face.
As Shenay’s…let’s say, interesting, act drew to a close, the crowd erupted with boos. The negative reaction was so loud that Simon turned to look in amazement – the first time he expressed anything other than benign interest.
Back on stage, Shenay told the crowd they were “really mean” as she shrunk under the weight of the resounding rejection, clutching her beloved cockroaches to her chest. “I know. They are!” Simon agreed. “I actually like cockroaches. They just walk around, they clean up the place, they mind their own business. They don’t do any harm.”
“Shenay, I love people who love odd animals,” the America’s Got Talent judge continued. He then dubbed her act “original” and gave her a “Yes.”
This unexpected response caused even more boos from the crowd. And the viewers at home were equally displeased. “The cockroaches didn’t do anything. They had to be pushed. My guinea pigs do more, and they sleep most of the time,” one fan wrote.
“Simon feeling sorry for Ms. Ladybug,” another said. “Stop pitying these phonies. Why is this audience even allowing her to go on?” added a third.