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Flogging a dead horse: 'AGT' Season 19: Viewers fume as producers hype bizarre act from Ada Filppa

'AGT's Simon Cowell stated that he had 'never seen' anything like it before, but declined Ada Flippa's request to go on
'AGT' Season 19 fans fume over Ada Filppa's audition (GregGayne/@nbc)
'AGT' Season 19 fans fume over Ada Filppa's audition (GregGayne/@nbc)

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA: The judges were taken aback by the considerable horseplay that went into this 'America's Got Talent' act. Ada Filppa debuted the uncommon sport of hobby horsing on the 'AGT' stage for the first time.

This provides equestrian enthusiasts who might not be able to bring a horse to an event like the 'AGT' stage with a unique outlet. After taking the stage, Ada declared, "I’m here because I want to show you something you’ve never seen before, 'AGT'.

Ada Flippa in 'AGT' Season 19 audition (GregGayne/NBC)
Ada Flippa in 'AGT' Season 19 audition (GregGayne/@nbc)

The judges and spectators were taken aback when Ada was on the stage with a miniature hobby horse between her legs, despite their expectation that she would do an equestrian feat. The scene was set to Michael Sembello's 1980s popular song 'Maniac'.

Ada was showing off the skill of hobby horsing, a peculiar trend that has taken Finland by storm and attracted hundreds of committed enthusiasts. In order to give the appearance that her hobby horse was acting like a real horse, Ada showed on 'AGT' by racing across the stage with it and leaping over equestrian fences with her legs.

On X, furious fans wrote, "This is why the producers on the show suck now. They put that much thought into producing a Hobby Horse non-advancer." One user believed, "Her equestrian skills would have been better showcased had she had a real horse."



One user quipped, "That woman seriously flew from Finland to prance around with a hobby horse? She should team up with this lady!" A fourth user wrote, "The fact that the #AGT cameraman zoomed in on the hobby horse for a reaction."



One viewer asked, "Is she serious with this horse head stick stuff?" Another added, "How did I know it was going to be a fake horse?"



'AGT' Season 19 judges say 'neigh' to Ada Flippa's act

Ada's main interest is obviously hobby horsing, although it may have appeared more like just horsing around to most of the 'AGT' judges. "I don’t understand this," remarked judge Sofia Vergara.

Judge Howie Mandel was one judge who not only liked the show but also engaged in hobby horseback riding. "I’ve seen competitions, and there’s hundreds of people doing it, and it’s very serious," he remarked.

Sofia interjected, saying, "I don’t know in what world I live in, but I had no clue that this existed."

Sofia got right to the point when Judge Heidi Klum jokingly asked Sofia if they might start hobby horseback riding together. "No," she said.

Even though 'AGT' has never seen anything like it before, Simon Cowell wasn't impressed with the performance either. He remarked, "I mean, if it looked more realistic, but it’s only a head." 

The fact that an anxious Ada failed to pass the barrier and toppled two of the bars didn't help either. Howie was the lone "yes" vote cast; Sofia, Simon, and Heidi promptly gave their "no" ballots.

Simon teasingly said, "I’m going to say neigh."

Ada was unable to advance in the tournament despite Howie's passionate support, and this time around, at least, the 23-year-old rode out into the sunset empty-handed.

Ada Flippa in 'AGT' Season 19 audition (GregGayne/NBC)
Ada Flippa in 'AGT' Season 19 audition (GregGayne/@nbc)

Who is Ada Flippa in 'AGT' Season 19?

Ada is a 23-year-old Finnish hobby horse athlete. She has uploaded many recordings of other people participating in the sport, along with her own accomplishments.

Basically, it involves someone riding a toy horse stick and clearing obstacles. On TikTok, a video of her competing has received 24K likes and 756K views.

'AGT' Season 19 contestant Ada Filppa has won numerous hobbyhorsing competitions (Instagram/@adafilppa)
'AGT' Season 19 contestant Ada Filppa has won numerous hobbyhorsing competitions (Instagram/@adafilppa)

'AGT' Season 19 contestant Ada Flippa regularly promotes hobby horse riding on her social media 

Ada, a native of Finland, talked about how her passion for horses had changed her life before the Season 19 Act started. Ada said in an introductory video, juxtaposed with images and films of her riding, that her parents were "a little bit scared," despite her lifelong ambition of having a horse.

Ada, however, was able to join her classmates in the stable when she was eight years old, and that was when she experienced her first horseback ride.

"That was immediately love, and I was, right away, this is my thing," the woman remarked. "I'm going to be the best."

Ada continued by telling how, at the age of 15, she had won the Finnish championship in the sport she was passionate about. She subsequently told host Terry Crews that she had participated in 200 events during the previous 15 years, adding, "I'm really, really good at it."

When the strange obsession was covered by CNN in 2017, Ada—who was the PR manager for the Finnish Hobby Horse Federation—was interviewed. She believed at the time that 10,000 or more Finns regularly participated in hobby horses.

Ada has promoted the pastime on social media by posting pictures of her "training" regimens on TikTok and identifying herself as a "Hobby Horse Athlete, Coach, and Influencer" on Instagram.

'AGT' Season 19 contestant Ada Filppa recently won gold at the Finnish Championships 2024 (Instagram/@adafilppa)
'AGT' Season 19 contestant Ada Filppa recently won gold at the Finnish Championships 2024 (Instagram/@adafilppa)

Season 19 of 'America's Got Talent' premieres new episodes every Tuesday at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT on NBC. The season is available for streaming on Peacock, where episodes can be viewed the following day