Howard Stern started burning the bridges during Tuesday night’s broadcast of America’s Got Talent when he criticized fellow judge Howie Mandel for his continued support of a contestant named Big Barry.
Barry delivered a lackluster performance of Nina Simone’s “Feelin’ Good” that elicited an immediate X from Stern, followed shortly by one from Sharon Osbourne. Despite the other judges’ obvious dislike of the contestant, Mandel continued to insist on Barry’s potential.
“Barry, I’m going to be totally honest with you. You’re not a good singer. But you’re an amazing character, and you’ve got this God-given stature and sound,” Mandel said. “I think you’re an incredible novelty act that people would come and see and pay for.”
Obviously irritated, Osbourne reached over and pressed Mandel’s X buzzer for him, while Stern was a little more vocal in his approach.
“You know, the Howie filibuster is getting annoying to me actually,” Stern said. “I gotta tell you, Big Barry, this isn’t about you. This is about Howie and how he treats the show.”
Stern then turned to Mandel and demanded that the judge apologize “to all the people that could have gotten through instead of Big Barry.”
Things only got worse when the two stood up and started yelling at each other with their microphones turned off.