After Criticism From Judges, America's Got Talent's Rock Star Mia Morris Explains Why She'd Never Do A Cover Song

The third week of qualifiers for America's Got Talent Season 17 brought out some gifted singers, including golden buzzer winner Sara James and the seven-person girl group XOMG POP! after their successful auditions. 17-year-old rock star Mia Morris made her return as well, after her one-woman band performance of an original song earned her the chance to take one step closer to the finale. Her second original song, which she performed on August 23 with the help of her musical instruments and looper, wasn't as much of a hit with the judges, and she has since explained why she'd never do a cover song.

Even though Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara had mostly supportive comments for Mia Morris, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel were less complimentary. Cowell said that he "didn't love the song" and the vocals were "out of tune," although he credited her for not compromising and doing a safe cover song. He said it was "a fantastic mess," but considered it a good thing. 

Howie Mandel also had some compliments before he started with the critiques, telling her that she's "a rock star" and an amazing musician and performer. Then he said that he didn't know if she was an amazing singer or song-writer, and suggested that she should have gone with a cover song as a safer choice. He believes she made the wrong choice to go with an original, but what does she think? 

Speaking with CinemaBlend and other outlets after her qualifiers performance, she weighed in on whether she's still happy that she did an original:

100,000,000%. That is what I want to do with my life, is play originals for people and make a living doing that. So yeah, I wouldn't want to play a cover ever.

While performers like Sara James (who closed out the night with a "Rocket Man" performance that proved why she got Simon Cowell's golden buzzer) were fan-favorites with covers, two of AGT's finalists so far earned enough votes for the finale with originals. Drake Milligan still has a shot at $1 million and the Las Vegas stage show after he decided not to quit, and Chapel Hart soared last week with an even sassier original song than their first. Mia Morris also feels original songs are important, and has no regrets about performing her own "We Were Never Friends."

In fact, Mia Morris already has experience with staying true to herself in the face of criticism. Even though she's only 17 years old, she has been sharing her music with the world for a long time, and that has meant the inevitable: unkind YouTube comments. The musician explained how she shakes off negative feedback:

Hate and harshness is everywhere. I mean, I've been posting YouTube videos since I was 10, 11. So I've been getting the hate comments forever. The thing I can totally understand [is] why facing these judges and getting feedback from them can be intimidating, because they're the judges, but they're all just people. You know, we're all just humans, and everyone has their own opinion. So if you're content with your performance and who you are, you shouldn't let anyone else affect that view on yourself.

Mia Morris was still nearly 24 hours away from finding out whether or not America's Got Talent fans had voted her through to the finals (even without being able to watch live in person), but she shared that being content with herself is more important than what the judges had to say. She also competed on a pretty wild night, including magician Nicolas Ribs, the Cline Twins as hockey stick handlers, and ventriloquist Celia Munoz with a Grease and Olivia Newton-John tribute. Take a look at her original!

Keep tuning in to NBC on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET for qualifiers episodes of America's Got Talent, as there are still more than twenty contestants waiting for their shot to make it to the finale. Results episodes air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. For some more viewing options now and in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).