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Night one of the semifinals Tuesday night ended with an incredible, show-stopping performance from contestant Jimmie Herrod, whom judge called "the best singer in this competition." However, earlier in the night, another singer found herself on the opposite end of Howie's praise.
28-year-old YouTuber Madilyn Bailey originally impressed the judges during her audition, when she sang a song made up of hate comments from the videos on her channel. And despite disappointing the judges with a cover of Sia's "Titanium" during the quarterfinals, Madilyn narrowly escaped elimination when Howie and , along with America's live "Instant Save" votes, sent her on to the next round.
Cut to Tuesday, when Madilyn sang another original song, which was dedicated to her late grandmother. However, Howie just wasn't quite feeling it.
As Howie attempted to form his thoughts, the judge awkwardly stated, "Okay, Madison, listen. You're very good, that was kind of touching. I'm going to be totally honest, you're a very lucky girl that I think, lady, woman, person… that America is voting and not for me. I didn't think that was anything. I thought you were in the same lane as Tory." Boos from the audience began to take over as Howie finished his thought, saying, "I think you're a good singer. I responded to you. I'm incredibly disappointed. I responded to you in your audition, when you sang those mean tweets. I thought that was quirky, funny, inventive. And now, I don't think this was anything, to be honest with you."
Viewers on Twitter, who loved Madilyn's performance, did not appreciate Howie's harsh criticism. In fact, one person described his insult as "absolutely inexcusable."
Meanwhile, Simon, who is normally the mean one, agreed with the viewers.
"Am I allowed to say 'ass' on American TV," asked Simon. "Okay, good, because Howie, you're talking out of it."