Simon Cowell Breaks 'AGT' Golden Rule, Judges Burst into Laughter

Judges clash over unexpected Golden Buzzer drama on AGT

by Zain ul Abedin
Simon Cowell Breaks 'AGT' Golden Rule, Judges Burst into Laughter
© Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In an electrifying turn of events on Tuesday's auditions for "America's Got Talent," judge Simon Cowell seized the spotlight by hitting the Golden Buzzer not once but twice, causing a stir among fellow judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara.

Cowell first used the coveted Golden Buzzer - a mechanism that allows judges to send an act straight to the live shows, bypassing further panel deliberations - for Liv Warfield, an exceptional vocalist, earlier in the evening.

The real shock came later when he decided to champion the Dallas-based group Sky Elements. Known for their innovative performances, the group required the panel to step outside the usual confines of the auditorium to witness a grand spectacle involving a choreographed drone light show that depicted a rocket launch, with Cowell humorously featured as the astronaut.

Rules? What Rules?

The audacious move did not go unnoticed by his peers. "You already did it!" exclaimed Mandel, while Klum pointed out the irregularity to the production team, highlighting that it was Cowell's second use of the Golden Buzzer.

The scene escalated when a production member approached Cowell, reminding him of the rules. Unfazed, Cowell retorted, "I just thought, why not? I mean, there’s nothing in the rules that says we couldn’t." This prompted an immediate consultation among the show's producers, resulting in a game-changing decision: each judge would now also have the opportunity to press the Golden Buzzer twice.

This adjustment seemed to resolve the tension, with Cowell commenting to PEOPLE, "We are using more Golden Buzzers this year because there were so many brilliant, mind-blowing auditions. I know right away when I see an act that is Golden Buzzer-worthy.

You feel it." Despite the controversy, Sky Elements' performance left an indelible mark on the judges and audience alike. Vergara was particularly moved, stating, "I’ve never seen anything like that," reflecting on the stunning drone display.

"I don’t know where I’ve been, but I didn’t know you could do those things with drones. It was spectacular."

Simon Cowell