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America's Got Talent Featured A Deepfake Simon Cowell Performance, And The Video Is All Kinds Of Disturbing

Simon Cowell listening to parmesan cheese song on America's Got Talent
(Image credit: NBC)

Spoilers ahead for Season 17, Episode 2 of America's Got Talent!

While we're still waiting on flying cars in this day and age, technology has definitely come a long way in some instances. One of these advances has occurred with deepfake technology, which is becoming more commonplace within the entertainment industry. As a matter of fact, a recent contestant on America's Got Talent just proved that by employing a Simon Cowell deepfake for his performance. And as you would imagine, the video is all kinds of disturbing (and sort of incredible).

The crazy performance, the result of a crazy collaboration, took place amid the auditions on the June 7th episode of America's Got Talent. The contestants were tech whizzes Tom Graham and Chris Ume, who presented their AI technology known as Metaphysic. To demonstrate it, they brought out 2018 finalist Daniel Emmet, and what happened next was mind-blowingly eerie. Through the use of a camera, Emmet was able to transform into deepfaked version of judge and electric bike enthusiast Simon Cowell. The tech made it appear as if Cowell were singing Chicago's "You're My Inspiration." The video that AGT posted on Twitter captures it all, so you can see for yourself:

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The beauty of AGT and the other versions of the show around the world is that just about anything can happen. (Remember the parmesan cheese contestant?)  Thanks to his appearance on a previous season, we knew that Daniel Emmet could sing, but seeing him belt out the '80s ballad as the British music producer was just wild. The judge did say that he “fell in love” with the performance, however. (But I think it may have had a lot to do with the fact that he was able to look at himself for a few minutes.)

The night was definitely eventful for it to have been only the second episode of the season. A coveted Golden Buzzer was awarded to 11-year-old Madison Taylor Baez for her rendition of “Amazing Grace,” and she really showed off powerful vocals. The episode was filled with plenty of talent and emotional stories and, luckily, there weren't too many other "uncanny" moments besides the deepfake.

With Metaphysic moving on to the next round of AGT, one has to wonder how they'll top their audition, which received received a standing ovation. Perhaps they'll do a deepfake of another judge on the series? Whatever they come up with, I imagine that it'll be something fairly impressive and further pushes the boundaries of the tech the contestants have developed.

So far, the talent on Season 17 America's Got Talent has been incredible and can, hopefully, only get better from here. Despite the unconventional nature of their performance, I'm fascinated to see how far team Metaphysic goes. Considering he's already declared his love, Simon Cowell will more than likely be rooting for them. I will say, though, I'm hoping that their upcoming performance(s) don't get too wild moving forward, as this was definitely weird enough.

New episodes of America's Got Talent air on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on NBC as part of the 2022 TV schedule. You can also stream them next day with Peacock Premium.

Megan Behnke
Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.