Heidi Klum may be ready to say auf Wiedersehen to an act on “America’s Got Talent.”
During the third round of quarterfinals Tuesday, comedian Usama Siddiquee appeared to offend the German judge with his “risky” stand-up routine, where he joked about his name’s similarity to Osama bin Laden, the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, feminism and women’s voting rights.
“I still get in situations for the name,” Siddiquee joked, before joking about how he looked running through the airport when he nearly missed a flight.
“Y’all realize how bad a brown dude looks running in an airport with a huge backpack?” he said. “I looked like a suicide bomber who overslept. Like, ‘Ugh! First day on the job and also last day on the job.'”
Siddiquee then repeatably called Klum a “tramp.”
“Club music is so fun that the DJ can say anything he wants in the beat,” he joked. “Heidi, if I called you a tramp, you would be like, ‘How dare you,’ right? But (mixed into a club beat), you would be like, ‘I do get loose on occasion.’ “
Klum appeared visibly upset during Siddiquee’s routine, and she didn’t have much to say when it was her turn to critique his cringeworthy act.
“I don’t know, I guess being called a tramp was probably the (most) uncomfortable part of the whole part,” Klum said.
Vergara said she felt “guilty” laughing at his jokes, adding that he selected a “very risky theme” for the family-friendly competition. Klum quickly agreed.
Mandel was sandwiched between Klum and Vergara at the judges’ table in the absence of Simon Cowell, who’s home recovering after breaking his back in an electric-bike accident. “We realize that Simon is irreplaceable, but who doesn’t want to partake in the most gorgeous man-sandwich in history?” Mandel said at the start of the episode.
Following Siddiquee’s act, however, Mandel was right in the middle of the tension, which was so thick, you could cut it with a knife.
“You started off fantastic,” Mandel said, before trailing off. “But I’m sitting besides these two and I don’t know if they were giving you … the response you were expecting.”
Viewers had mixed reactions to Siddiquee’s comedy. Some argued that “Heidi and Sofia are being too sensitive,” while others agreed that his act was “better suited for any other platform besides @AGT.”
Klum got a much-needed pick-me-up from singer Sheldon Riley, who appeared from Sydney because of pandemic travel restrictions. Riley wore a straight jacket and diamond face covering to perform a slowed-down rendition of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.”
“As a little boy, I used to sneak around and watch you in my lounge room,” he said. “Thank you so much for giving someone like me, someone from the LGBT community, a voice to express my fashion and understand it’s not always so available for all of us.”
Klum applauded Riley’s vulnerability. “I love the mystery of it all,” she added.
Riley was not the only act to join “AGT” via satellite. The 49 members of the Dance Town Family wowed from a seaside stage in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with their fast-paced routine that Mandel deemed the “corona conga.”
“I thought you were really in the moment. With the masks, it’s got to be tough to even get a breath,” Mandel added. (The group performed in white and black face masks that matched their outfits.)
In total, 11 acts performed during Tuesday’s quarterfinals round, mainly from Universal Studios Hollywood’s soundstage, theme park and the famed back lot.
Acts that appeared Tuesday: Alan Silva (acrobat); Malik Dope (drummer); Annie Jones (singer); Bone Breakers (contortionists); Dance Town Family (dance group); Sheldon Riley (singer); Max Major (magician); Nolan Neal (singer) and Usama Siddiquee (comedian).
Mandel said the episode was “the most spectacular evening that we’ve had on Season 15.” He added, “America, I don’t know how you are going to do it. I’m glad it’s you and not us.”
Only five of Tuesday’s acts will advance to the semifinals.
Fans can vote up to 10 times for each act on NBC.com/AGTvote, the “America’s Got Talent” app and through Xfinity Voice Remote. The acts in the semifinals will be revealed during Wednesday’s results show (NBC, 8 EDT/PDT).