AGT viewers slam Howie Mandel for buzzer lie forcing Simon Cowell to apologise

Simon Cowell apologises to America’s Got Talent contestants

America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel faced a wave of criticism from viewers after he pressed Heidi Klum’s buzzer during the live performance. 

This week the hit NBC competition show returned with another round of Qualifiers but as the Country singers took to the stage with Who You Are, their act descended into chaos. 

Midway through the song, Howie sneaked over and pressed Heidi’s buzzer resulting in a huge red X above the singers. 

As the show was live, cameras did pick up on the move but the aftermath saw the model looked noticeably shocked as she pointed at the 67-year-old.

Although the duo received a standing ovation from the audience, host Terry Crews instantly addressed the “controversy.”

READ MORE: AGT’s Sofia Vergara flashes her cleavage in a plunging glitzy top

Despite Howie’s denial, Heidi insisted: “It was not me girls,” Terry revealed they had “playback” and “proof” as he encouraged producers to “show the tape.”

In the clip, the controversial comedian could be seen reaching over to Heidi’s buzzer and quickly pulling his arm back after pressing the buzzer. 

However, he maintained: “I would not press my buzzer in the semi-finals.”

The two judges then had a brief squabble as Heidi hit back: “ What is going on with you, Howie? There is an invisible line right here [between us]. This is your side; this is my side.”

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Viewers were also furious at the judge and took to social media to share rage, including @Patriotpoetsma1 who fumed: “Total d****e move on Howie pushing Heidi’s buzzer.”

@DM-by5sr added: “I don’t know why the judges didn’t like this song. I like it & enjoyed it”

A third viewer @AaronGz95 stated: “The disrespect for these girls was just horrible. Howie buzzing was totally uncalled for and to push Heidi’s buzzer and not his and not owning up to it … what a coward.”

As @rachelleharman8101 blasted: “You girls did awesome. Howie doesn’t know anything.”

However, some defended the judge as @PinkRose2004 wrote: ”I Love Howie he meant well, nothing is wrong for trying to put a stop to the torture those girls were inflicting on the listener.”

@hunter240x admitted: “I was waiting for a buzzer and figured it would be from Howie. It was a nice song but lacked the energy tonight has been bringing.”

After Heidi and Sofia Vergara revealed they too weren’t fans of the performance, Simon Cowell addressed the buzzer controversy and took aim at the producers. 

“First of all, I don’t think the producers should have done what they just did because we don’t have a lot of time to talk and actually give you something constructive,” he added: “So I apologise.”

 America’s Got Talent season 18 continues Tuesdays on ABC

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