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‘We all feel music differently’: Utah singer speaks out after ‘AGT’ judge criticizes performance

‘The beautiful thing about music is it doesn’t affect everybody the same way, and that’s what I love about music. We all feel music differently.’ — Kenadi Dodds

Kenadi Dodds performs her original song, “Dancing Through the Stars,” on the quarterfinal round of “AGT” Tuesday night. The show’s judges had mixed feelings about the performance.
Chris Haston/NBC

SALT LAKE CITY — “America’s Got Talent” judges had mixed feelings about Kenadi Dodds’ performance Tuesday night.

The 15-year-old singer from Logan performed an original song for the quarterfinal round. Called “Dancing Through the Stars,” the ballad celebrates Kenadi’s relationship with her 9-year-old sister Alexis who, like most members of Kenadi’s immediate family, has the eye disease retinitis pigmentosa.

“She’s like a little shadow that just follows me everywhere. I’m so lucky to have her, she’s always been my best friend,” Kenadi said during a clip that aired before her live performance last night. “We don’t know if she’ll lose all her vision. I will always be there if she needs me. But she’s really independent and knows what she wants, so that’s good.”

After Kenadi’s performance, which saw her belting the ballad from a white piano, Heidi Klum had nothing but praise for the song and what it represented. But Howie Mandel wasn’t as sold on the performance, the Deseret News previously reported.

“I love you and I think that you’re an amazing talent,” Mandel told Kenadi last night. “I have to be honest that that song didn’t do it for me personally. If you remove the story, if you remove what it was about …”

Mandel didn’t get to finish his thought, as Klum interjected to criticize him for not being more encouraging of original music, and the virtual audience started booing him. While “AGT” judge Sofia Vergara admitted she liked the original song Kenadi auditioned with better, she said she thought Mandel was being “very negative.”

Following that live performance, Kenadi released a video on social media sharing her thoughts on what Mandel said.

Posted by Kenadi Dodds Music on Tuesday, September 1, 2020

“I’ve had a lot of questions about what I thought about the judges’ comments, and I just want to say, I love Howie and he’s so funny, and nothing will change that,” the singer said in a video posted on her Facebook page Tuesday night. “The beautiful thing about music is it doesn’t affect everybody the same way, and that’s what I love about music. We all feel music differently. And I know what kind of music Howie likes, so I’m excited to pull some of that out of my sleeve.”

The budding singer added that she’s grateful for her journey on the show so far and has loved getting to know all of her fellow “AGT” contestants. She closed out her video with the hope that she’ll be voted through to the show’s semifinal round.

“I’m so excited to show you guys what I have next. I will hopefully be back on live really, really soon.”

The results from Tuesday’s episode air Wednesday night at 7 p.m.