'AGT' Season 17: Fans question Howie Mandel's dance skills after he rejects Ciara Hines and Trey Rich

'AGT' Season 17: Fans question Howie Mandel's dance skills after he rejects Ciara Hines and Trey Rich
'AGT' Season 17 judge Howie Mandel (L) rejects dancers Ciara Hines and Trey Rich (R) (Credits: Twitter/agt)

Ciara Hines and Trey Rich gave a poignant performance on 'America's Got Talent' on Tuesday, July 26, in honor of the former's late father. After they manage to impress all the judges except Howie Mandel, fans question his dance skills.

The two best friends are accomplished dancers who have competed together in the show. Nevertheless, both dancers are talented on their own. Trey is based in New York/Los Angeles, and Ciara is a KAR Protégé, Immerse Artist Elite, and Platinum Dance Apprentice who participates in several competitions. The duo won the duet category on America's number one dance competition, 'ShowStopper,' and are now competing on 'AGT' for the grand prize.


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Trey who admits being nervous about meeting Simon introduces himself and Ciara as a dancing duo and best friends. They've known each other since they were kids and are now best friends. Trey wishes for a standing ovation since he recalls Ciara's father cheering them on from the audience. Ciara shares how her father, whom she lost in 2018, was her biggest supporter. The father-daughter duo used to watch 'AGT' together, and he would mention how he hoped to see his daughter on the television someday. Trey says they're here to have fun, but also to win. Besides a standing ovation, they would also like to have a shot at the million dollars prize money.

The best friends from Maryland tell Sofia how they met each other at the dance studio they both go to. Trey, 16, and Ciara, 17, dance to 'Heaven' by Calum Scott and Lyodra. With each flip and jump, the crowd continues to cheer them on. By the end of the performance, Sofia, Heidi, and the audience had given them the standing ovation they had hoped for, while Simon gives them a thumbs up.

Ciara Hines & Trey Rich in 'AGT' Season 17 (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)
Ciara Hines & Trey Rich in 'AGT' Season 17 (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Sofia calls the performance "amazing" and "beautiful." She adds how their bodies together were doing this amazing dance, which she absolutely loved. Heidi describes how many dancing partners appear on the 'AGT' stage, which at times seems to be the same. She does, however, mention that Trey and Ciara have introduced some new moves that she likes. Howie was honest with his review. He acknowledges that he liked their coordination and synchronization, but that the performance lacked crispness. As the audience boos Howie's remark, Simon chimes in, noting that he likes both of them but is intrigued if they have a backstory. Trey explains that it was actually a story, as Ciara gets tearful. Ciara tells that her father died unexpectedly in 2018 following a massive heart attack. She felt the same level of love and support from Trey when she returned to the studio after her father died, if not more.

Trey adds that they always strive to be there for each other, and they attempted to convey that in the dance. He goes on to say that the dance isn't about a boy lifting a girl, but about them always catching each other. Sofia explains one may tell how close they are based on their performance. Simon saw that they were not just two random people thrown together; their bond was palpable, and he cherishes their friendship. As Sofia and Heidi give them their first yeses, Howie believes that, while they are talented, they are not yet ready for the big stage. However, with a yes and a vow of friendship from Simon, the duo advances to the next round.

Fans on social media were quick to criticize Howie for his remarks on the duo's performance. A fan wrote how the show needed a dance-centered judge: "See, we need a dance centered judge #AGT."


Another fan tweeted calling Howie out: "Howie is a prude! #AGT."


Asking Howie's dancing credentials, a fan asked: "howie suddenly is a dance expert? lmao his no was so random #agt."


After Simon asked the duo to share the story behind their dance, a fan wrote: "If you have to explain the story you didn’t tell it right #AGT."


On the other hand, a fan criticized Simon for asking if they had a story at all: "Simon really had to ask if it was a story #AGT."


One fan said: "For 16 and 17 years old, they're pretty great dancers even if it wasn't 'crisp'. My only criticism is they should have held the end for 10-15 more seconds to hold that emotion. #AGT #AmericasGotTalent."


Another fan added: "They were cool, but I don't think it's a winning act. #AGT."


'America's Got Talent' airs on Tuesdays at 8 pm on NBC. For viewers who wish to tune in to the show without cable, they can do so using any of the following streaming services: Sling TV, fuboTV, Hulu With Live TV, AT&T TV or YouTube TV.

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