'America's Got Talent' needs to do some serious fact checking

Sophie Fatu, America's Got Talent

It doesn't look like America's Got Talent would do well in an America's Got Talent trivia contest!

Since season one of America's Got Talent began on NBC in 2006, the show has stayed true to its promise that a performer of any age could audition for a chance to win the $1,000,000 top prize. By any age, AGT means any age, from young kids to young at heart senior citizens. In fact, the first ever winner of the show was singer Bianca Ryan who, at the time of her first audition, was just 11-years-old.

Over the years the show has seen it's fair share of kid performers, from singers to dancers to comedians to just about everything in between. However, this season features one of the youngest contestants in the show's 13 season history. Her name is Sophie Fatu and she is a five-year-old singer. During the June 12 audition episode, Sophie's cute rendition of Frank Sinatra's "My Way" blew the judges away, and the high notes she hit earned her a standing ovation from Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell.

Sophie received four yeses, meaning she was on to the second round of the competition, the "Judge Cuts." This week, Sophie was a member of the 18-act line-up vying for one of just seven spots in the America's Got Talent live shows. During the July 24 episode, Sophie once again channeled her inner Old Blue Eyes to perform the classic Sinatra song "New York, New York." She razzle-dazzled her way through another memorable performance and once again got the judges on their feet.

Unfortunately, with so many talented performers in the second group of contestants, Sophie did not receive a coveted spot in the live shows and her time in the competition was cut short (pun intended). However, Sophie not making it to the next stage of the competition is not what this article is about. Instead, this article is being written about the YouTube video featuring Sophie's second performance, which is included above, because there is some inaccurate information attached.

On the America's Got Talent YouTube channel, the video of Sophie's "Judge Cuts" performance, which was posted shortly after her segment aired on television, is titled "Sophie Fatu: AGT’s Youngest Performer EVER Sings "New York, New York" - America’s Got Talent 2018." Now, for any regular viewer of the show or fan who has recently started watching AGT, the titled might sound accurate to them. As mentioned earlier, there have been a lot of kids featured on the show, but not many that were only five years old. So, most of the viewers will probably take America's Got Talent's word and believe that Sophie is the show's youngest performer ever.

However, super fans of the show and viewers who have been watching America's Got Talent since season one will probably point out that the video title "Sophie Fatu: AGT’s Youngest Performer EVER Sings "New York, New York" - America’s Got Talent 2018" contains a false fact. Sophie Fatu is in fact NOT the youngest performer ever featured on the show. It's time to take a trip down memory lane and travel back to season 3.

Back in 2008, when America's Got Talent was thankfully not over-produced, it featured a completely different season structure and was not filled with so many unnecessary packages and standing ovations, a little girl took the stage during one of the audition episodes in front of then judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff. Showing no nerves at all, she impressed the judges, the audience and then host Jerry Springer with her rendition of Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram's "Somewhere Out There," made famous for being featured in the 1986 animated film An American Tail.

Her name was Kaitlyn Mayer, and at the time of her audition, Kaitlyn was four years old.

If the number line has remained the same, the number four should still be lower than the number five, which means four-year-old Kaitlyn Meyer is, in fact, the youngest performer in the history of America's Got Talent, not five-year-old Sophie Fatu.

Season 13 of America's Got Talent is definitely the year of déjà vu, as pointed out from a previous article written about this season, and the similarity between Sophie Fatu and Kaitlyn Mayer is definitely one of the reasons why. However, don't you find it a bit embarrassing and sad how the show doesn't even know it's own history!? Whoever titled Sophie's video with the words "AGT’s Youngest Performer EVER" must not be familiar with past seasons of America's Got Talent as well as they should be, which is shameful since they work on the show.

When making a factual comment and posting it on social media for millions of viewers to see, don't you think it would be a smart idea to check the record books, or at least ask a super fan of the show, to make sure it is a correct statement? It's pretty clear by now that America's Got Talent does not currently care about giving credit to acts from previous seasons. However, for the sake of the history of the show and out of respect for all the AGT fans who have watched the show since day one, please provide accurate information when putting labels on contestants. Five-year-old Sophie Fatu is not the youngest performer to ever hit the America's Got Talent. Four-year-old Kaitlyn Mayer from season three is.


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Bradley Clarke

Writing Intern