Cheesy 'AGT' singer makes history with unprecedented judging decision

On the Season 17 premiere of America's Got Talent Tuesday, 29-year-old singer-songwriter Ben Lapidus started his audition sharing the sad story of suddenly losing his father at age six, so most viewers were expecting a touching or heart-wrenching performance. Instead, Ben sang a silly and funny song that had viewers comparing him to Weird Al or a "Young Adam Sandler."

"I always want more parmesan, but I’m embarrassed," Ben belted, becoming increasingly desperate and agitated as the tune went on. "Why are they so stingy?/Is there a shortage of parmesan?/Is it really that expensive?/I just want more cheese, is that so wrong?"

While Ben’s protest song against “Big Parma” seemed to resonate with European judge Heidi Klum, her co-stars quickly became agitated themselves, with Simon Cowell being first to pound his red X button. "I hate bloody parmesan. It’s disgusting," Simon later grumbled.

Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara followed Simon’s lead, and once Ben got into full screamo mode and really let it rip, Heidi also appeared to no longer connect to Ben’s zesty message, so she too buzzed him.

Despite all four judges not having an appetite for the cheesy song, the audience was all for it as they eventually broke out into a chant, screaming "Parmesan! Parmesan! Parmesan!"

Ultimately, Heidi, Sofia and Simon decided to give the people what they want. No, not more parmesan. But history was made when Lapidus managed to turn four red X's into three yeses.

"You know what? I want to kill you right now, because I can’t get that [chorus] out of my brain," Simon blurted. "Take the X away. I am giving you a yes."

Video transcript

BEN LAPIDUS: For God's sake, I'm a grown up. I have rights. And I will not be shamed for my cheese intake. Always one more Parmesan. I'm embarrassed.

KYLIE MAR: On the season 17 premiere of America's Got Talent Tuesday, 29-year-old singer songwriter Ben Lapidus started his audition sharing the sad story of suddenly losing his father at age six. So most viewers were expecting a touching, or heart wrenching, performance. But instead, they got this.

BEN LAPIDUS: I always want more Parmesan. But I'm embarrassed. I always want more Parmesan--

SOFIA VERGARA: What is going on?

KYLIE MAR: All four judges didn't seem to have an appetite for the cheesy song.

SIMON COWELL: I don't know why I'm even having this conversation anyway. Because I don't like Parmesan. I don't like your song. So I'm saying no.

KYLIE MAR: But the audience was all for it.

- Parmesan.

- Wow.

- Parmesan.

SIMON COWELL: Oh my God.

- Parmesan. Parmesan.

BEN LAPIDUS: Parmesan.

KYLIE MAR: And ultimately, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Simon Cowell decided to give the people what they want. No, not more Parmesan. But history was made when Lapidus managed to turn four red X's into three yeses.

SIMON COWELL: Do you know what? I want to kill you right now because--

BEN LAPIDUS: I love you, Simon.

SIMON COWELL: I can't get that, I want more Parmesan out of my brain. Take the X away. I'm giving you a yes.

BEN LAPIDUS: Oh yes.

KYLIE MAR: But I wouldn't say Sofia was the most convinced.

SOFIA VERGARA: You guys are crazy.

SIMON COWELL: [INAUDIBLE]

SOFIA VERGARA: You're insane.

BEN LAPIDUS: No, I tell you why. I couldn't get the song out in my head.

SOFIA VERGARA: Yeah, it was a horrific song. And now we're going to have to hear this guy again.

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