Mel B Storms Off 'America's Got Talent' Stage After Simon Cowell Wedding Night Joke
Plus: musical highlights from Celine Tam, Johnny Manuel and Mandy Harvey.
It was a rough night for the judging panel on America's Got Talent on Tuesday night (Aug. 22), with Mel B. once again launching a cup of water at her frequent irritator Simon Cowell over an insensitive joke, even as the singing talent on the show kept the focus squarely on their performances.
But first, Mel and Simon. The former Spice Girl, who is going through a rough divorce from estranged husband Stephen Belafonte, did not think it was funny when Cowell made a crack about Mel's wedding night after it appeared that magician Demian Aditya's trick went sideways. "I kind of imagine this would be like Mel B's wedding night," Cowell cracked. "A lot of anticipation, not much promise or delivery."
Mel wasn't having it, launching her cup of water at Cowell (and not for the first time) and walking out of the studio during the live show. "Mel B is out. This is live TV ya'll. This is live TV," said host Tyra Banks.
Mel eventually came back and finished the show, though she reportedly told HuffPost UK, "I told him he was an arsehole. And he goes, 'Oh, whatever.'" The night wasn't a total wash, however, as a number of singers made a big impression.
One of the judge's favorites was 9-year-old Celine Tam's dramatic take on the 1998 The Prince of Egypt Whitney Houston/Mariah Carey power ballad "When You Believe."
Former child star Johnny Manuel ("Little Johnny), 28, went all-in with his rendition of the talent show staple "And I Am Telling You" from Dreamgirls, which Cowell thought redeemed earlier appearances. "I mean this as an absolute compliment, you are a diva. This is what you do so well," Cowell said. "You've been OK up until now, but this was your moment."
Still looking for their break a half-century after they started singing together, The Masqueraders unveiled the doo-wop tune "I'm Just An Average Guy," song they said they were supposed to record 50 years ago, but had to abandon because they were slated to be in a studio near the spot where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Mel thought the tune was over-produced, but Cowell urged the audience to give the veterans another chance.
In another emotional performance dedicated to her father, who is battling colon cancer, 13-year-old Evie Clair sang a moving cover of Birdy's "Wings" on piano, surrounded by a forest of candles. “I’m so very proud of you for being on that stage now for the third time and being as strong as you are," said judge Heidi Klum. "You have the most incredible voice. I think you’re really, really special."
Deaf singer Mandy Harvey took a big chance and strummed her mini-guitar during a performance of an original song she wrote for her cousin's wedding, the touching "Mara's Song." Cowell was moved, saying simply, "Your music says it all."