Tensions flare as Simon Cowell clashes with difficult but talented ‘AGT’ contestant

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Contestant Lamont Landers clashed with “America’s Got Talent” judge Simon Cowell after the famous music producer stopped his performance on Tuesday night. Lamont did eventually redeem himself, but on the road to redemption he found himself at odds with both the audience and the judges.

Landers, a 27-year-old musician from Huntsville, Ala., initially tried to perform Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” Only a few seconds into his performance, Cowell stopped the audition. He said, “I’m just wondering whether we should just come up with a better song, because your problem is that you don’t take risks.”

After Landers shrugged off Cowell’s note, the producer said, “I think you should come back later ’cause right now we’re not understanding each other.” Instead of leaving the stage, Landers sought the audience for second opinion saying, “What do you guys want?”

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Landers eventually agreed to find a new song. He returned a few hours later to perform Robyn’s “Dancing on My Own.” He continued to struggle, and when Cowell stopped the performance, Landers lashed out at the audience, saying, “Everybody, please do not clap.”

A third time proved to be the charm for Landers. He received a standing ovation from both Cowell and the audience at the end of his performance. He received four yes votes from the judges and some words of encouragement from Cowell, who said, “I know what it’s like when it’s frustrating and you get criticized, and you think you’re right, but something’s getting in the way, and you get frustrated, and then sometimes someone gives you a little bit of advice and it opens the door. I think the door has just opened for you here.”

America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on NBC.

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