America’s Got Talent: Heidi Klum accused of ‘bullying’ and ‘body-shaming’ dancer

Klum was booed after buzzing 19-year-old Amanda LaCount during her performance

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Thursday 11 June 2020 16:49
Heidi Klum buzzes dancer on America's Got Talent

Heidi Klum has come under criticism after buzzing a dancer during her performance on America’s Got Talent.

Amanda LaCount, a 19-year-old from Colorado, danced in front of the judges in a recent episode of the talent show.

In an introductory segment, LaCount explained that when she was younger, a dance studio director once told Amanda’s mother that her daughter’s body type “didn’t fit” his team.

Nevertheless, LaCount kept pursuing her passion thanks to her mother’s support – and ended up in front of the America’s Got Talent judges.

She began dancing to Todrick Hall’s ”Nails Hair Hips Heels”, earning cheers and claps from the audience.

But about 40 seconds into her performance, Klum hit her buzzer, which is judges’ way of expressing their dissatisfaction with an act.

If all four judges press their buzzers, the performer has to end their set.

Klum’s buzzer was met with boos from the audience. LaCount was able to finish her set, eventually earning a standing ovation from the crowd as well as judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell.

Viewers on Twitter expressed their strong disagreement with Klum’s decision to buzz LaCount, with some viewing it as an instance of “bullying” and “body-shaming”.

“Heidi Klum body-shaming that girl. That’s exactly what that was!” one person wrote.

“.@heidiklum #AGT What you did to that dancer that you said no to was a form of bullying!! Most of the acts on the show are not ‘million dollar acts’! She needed to be validated by all of you for her courage and work.” someone else tweeted.

After LaCount’s performance, Vergara and Cowell both gave the dancer positive feedback and a “yes” enabling her to progress to the show’s next stage. Mandel had some reservations but was convinced by the crowd to award LaCount a “yes”.

Klum gave the dancer a “no”, generating boos from the audience.

The Independent has contacted Klum's team for comment.

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