Courtney Hadwin’s performance wasn’t as well-received by the at-home audience once they recognized her name.
During Tuesday’s episode of America’s Got Talent, 14-year-old Courtney Hadwin brought the judges and the audience to their feet with her performance of James Brown “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag.” As previously reported by Inquisitr, the teenage singer received a Golden Buzzer from Howie Mandel following her performance of “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding during her audition.
While the performance was initially received as “mature” and “soulful,” the young singer – as well as NBC – is now receiving a great deal of backlash on social media as at-home viewers have begun to recognize her name. According to People, AGT fans took to Twitter to slam both Courtney and NBC for not being completely forthcoming about her previous music performance history.
As those who recall her initial AGT audition, she was introduced as a very shy teenager from England. While judges thought she was “sweet,” they weren’t sure what to make of her until she started to sing and stunned everyone.
It has now come to light – according to People– that the young singer is a great deal more comfortable on stage than she initially let on. Just last year, Courtney placed in the top six for U.K. The Voice Kids.
Outraged fans have taken to Twitter slamming AGT, NBC, and the judges for allowing someone with previous singing experience to compete.
One user pointed out the fact that Simon was also a judge on the U.K. The Voice Kids show that the teenager had competed in just last year.
A second criticized why the judges and network were bringing in “ringers” from other countries.
A third criticized the judges for “fake reacting” to someone they already knew was a good performer.
Several other users argued it wasn’t exactly fair for the judges to allow Hadwin to perform given her previous experience.
According to Daily Mail, Courtney’s grandfather defended the decision to perform for AGT. “We always believed she would do well in the U.S.A.,” her grandfather explained. “We knew they would get it in a way that the U.K. didn’t. We knew she would go down a storm over there.”
Speaking to Good Housekeeping, a spokesperson of AGT explained the younger singer technically wasn’t violating any of the contest rules.
“International acts are eligible to participate in the initial AGT auditions on visitor visas. If selected to proceed to the program live shows, AGT works with acts to secure appropriate performer visas which give acts authorization to perform throughout the series.”
Despite the backlash and criticism, many AGT fans continue to flood Twitter with love and support for Courtney. A few Twitter users even went as far as to exclaim that the young singer “better win.”
Episodes of America’s Got Talent air on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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