America's Got Talent's Keith Apicary Reveals What Really Messed Him Up And His Problem With Simon Cowell's Comments

Warning: spoilers ahead for the results episode of the third round of America's Got Talent's quarterfinals on August 25!

The final round of quarterfinals for America's Got Talent Season 16 featured some of the most talented acts who made it all the way from the auditions, but only seven of the twelve were going to be able to advance to the semifinals. Five unique acts had to be cut, and one of them was the particularly memorable dancer/video game enthusiast Keith Apicary. His memorable act wasn't enough to get the votes to beat the likes of World Taekwondo Demonstration Team, Léa Kyle, and more, and he has actually shared what he thinks messed him up in his final performance before Simon Cowell's harsh comments.

The performer, whose real name is Nathan Barnatt but who went by his "Keith Apicary" character for AGT and while speaking to CinemaBlend and other outlets following his big quarterfinals performance, ended his AGT run on an act that was full of energy that had the crowd and even some of the judges on their feet, although Simon Cowell hit his buzzer a minute into his dance number. When I asked Apicary if he fed off the energy of the crowd or just felt their reactions after he finished, he explained:

The energy of the crowd definitely helps. Really liking the music really helps. That was my song that played tonight, called 'No Kiss You,' so I loved the song. So that helps. Choreography messes me up because I can't learn choreography very well. And I had to do choreography for them. So they kind of knew what I was going to do and where I was going to be. If I was to just be free and just feel it and go for it kind of more like I did in the audition, I think I would do a little better. But the audience definitely helps keep me going, like when Simon buzzes me, I'm just like,' Alright,' because I can see people laughing and cheering. So it helped me go through to the end. I got a little discouraged when I heard the X, but I just kept going. I was like, 'I just gotta hit that flip at the end' and I got through it.

Keith Apicary had a lot going for him in his performance, with the crowd loving what he was doing and getting to perform to his own song, but there was a problem he encountered that wasn't a factor in his audition: choreography. While planning out the moves helped him hit some of his bigger moves, including his finishing flip, on cue, he just feels that he does better when he doesn't have to follow choreography. Unfortunately for him, getting this far in AGT means higher production value, which means the crew knowing what he's going to do.

To his credit, however, Keith Apicary didn't miss a beat even when Simon Cowell buzzed him, with confetti flying around and the big flip still to hit. Even if his performance to "No Kiss You" was ultimately his final one as an America's Got Talent competitor, he certainly went out with plenty of spectacle and doing the best he could to get through it to his big finish.

Simon Cowell did have some harsh comments for him once the act ended, however, which was a contrast from how Cowell responded to his act in the auditions, with an act that was similar but on a smaller scale. After all, Keith Apicary added some more gymnastic moves that combined with good old-fashioned slapstick, which none of the other quarterfinals acts did on the night. Apicary shared his reaction to Cowell's critiques, saying:

Yeah, well, I have a little bit of a problem with what he said because I fell off the stage in my audition and he stood up and bowed. Then I do a front handspring into a pole and nail it and drag myself across the stage and he buzzes me. So it's like, 'Alright, conflict of brain problems over here, Simon, because you loved it and then you don't love something more advanced.' So I don't agree. I tried to do something different. I'm not a professional dancer. I just like to dance. But I do love physical comedy. And I'm trying to like add some of that to my routine. And hopefully it comes across. It's a hard thing to do in this setting. But I did my best.

It's hard to blame Keith Apicary for disagreeing with Simon Cowell, since he believes that he did his best. And hopefully knowing that the other judges and the crowd were on his side in loving his performance will help soothe the sting of elimination. Plus, no dance act has ever won America's Got Talent, even despite some stellar originality. He did explain that even though he hasn't gotten as much recognition as he wishes in his life, he still has big goals:

People in the area know of me because I put videos up and some get some hits. But not as much as I would like to. I would love to just be like the next Kramer, to be honest with you. I'm like, I get it. I get this guy. I can deliver some dialogue and do a monologue and then fall on my face... [laughs] So that's the whole goal. And like, also, I just do love to dance. So I just want to make people feel good. But I think a way to do that isn't just by dancing, it's by all sorts of like physical maneuvers.

Will Keith Apicary ever be like Kramer of Seinfeld fame? Only time will tell on that front, but making it as far as the AGT quarterfinals is something to be proud of, especially without the benefit of a golden buzzer to guarantee that he would be advanced it to this stage of competition. Plus, the AGT stage gave him a big platform to show off what he can do, so his musical and dancing talents have reached a much larger audience than if he'd never taken the chance on the show. Take a look at his final performance:

Also eliminated in the final round of quarterfinals were the frightful (in a good way) Klek Entos, family music group The Curtis Family C-Notes, singer ANICA, and wildcard-winning singer Storm Large. The acts who earned a spot in the semifinals are golden buzzer winners World Taekwondo Demonstration Team and Léa Kyle, balancing brothers Rialcris, dance group ChapKidz, singer Brooke Simpson, vocal gymnast Michael Winslow, and unicycle group UniCircle Flow. See which acts will make it to the finals when the semis of America's Got Talent Season 16 begin on Tuesday, August 31 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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).