AGT fan-favourite Ava Swiss was sadly eliminated last night (August 10) despite her touching performance of Pink’s Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, prompting fans to slam the new America’s Got Talent format.

This year’s contestants vary from magicians to contortionists and even a singer who exclusively sings about his love for parmesan cheese, aka Ben Lapidus – the Parmesan Cheese Guy.

The judges welcomed 18-year-old Ava Swiss, who received a standing ovation at auditions for her version of Lauren Daigle’s Remember. It wasn’t just her voice that was worth praising; her bravery to overcome her terrifying school shooting experience in November 2021 touched the nation’s hearts.

Ava performed the emotional ballad Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken on Tuesday, but it wasn’t enough to bag one of the two final slots.

Red Carpet For "America's Got Talent" Season 17 Live Show
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Ava’s performance brought fans to tears

The Oxford High School, Michigan student received yet another standing ovation from judges Simon, Heidi, Sofia, and Howie. Paired with the booming applause and the overwhelming online support, her progression seemed likely.

“Beautiful voice, I really hope talent agents are watching! She was so amazing, I love her voice, so beautiful,” a YouTube viewer commented.

Another tweeted: “Absolutely, Beautiful Ava!! Your singing brought me to tears! You gave your testimony of how you overcame the tragedy of the shooting at your high school.”

AGT fans criticize new season 17 format

Ava lost out to 21-year-old saxophonist Avery Dixon, and country singer Drake Milligan. The teen was among the 11 acts of the night, following a new show format. This year, a total of 55 contestants have made it through to the qualifiers; 54 of them were selected by the judges and the last spot was decided by viewers.

11 acts will take the stage each week and only two acts will progress – one voted by viewers, and the other being the judges’ choice.

After five weeks of qualifiers, 10 acts will battle it out in the final.

With such a huge batch of contestants and only two slots up for grabs each week, competition is fierce, so no wonder fan-favorites are getting eliminated. It’s also worth noting that they’ve cut out semifinals, eliminating further screentime for contestants.

Last year’s pace was much slower with a smaller pool: 44 acts made it to the quarters, and about half advanced to the semis, where they were split into two episodes. 10 acts progressed to the final.

A wave of complaints has circulated Twitter, with many blasting AGT for “rushing” the show this year.

“What’s the deal with the new format.. only taking two and going strait to the finals!!! Not a fan at all [sic],” a viewer moaned.

However, not everyone felt the same may and many have been enjoying the season.

One fan tweeted Simon, telling him: “best season so far Simon! Great job. Love you guys!”

Another posted: “So many fantastic acts [t]his season oh my gosh , going to be so hard to choose , really unique acts too great people , great stories , love this show”.

A third wrote: “I’ve been watching @AGT since season 1. Just proves how successful the show has become and how competitive the talent truly is. Love it! Wanna be the best, gotta compete against the best.”



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