YouTuber Trisha Paytas said America's Got Talent 'sabotaged' her 2012 appearance

YouTuber Trisha Paytas said America's Got Talent 'sabotaged' her 2012 appearance
Trisha Paytas and Ethan Klein on "Frenemies."H3 Podcast / YouTube
  • YouTuber Trisha Paytas spoke about her 2012 audition for "America's Got Talent" on the latest episode of the "Frenemies" podcast with co-host Ethan Klein.
  • She claimed producers "sabotaged" her by changing the direction of her audition a minute before she went on the stage.
  • She said she was originally going to speed-sing "Star-Spangled banner," but was told to freestyle instead.
  • Paytas referenced a similar claim made by Zoe Alexander, a singer who appeared on "The X Factor" in 2012, and has since said she was manipulated and edited unfairly by producers.

In the latest episode of the "Frenemies" podcast, YouTuber Trisha Paytas talked about her experience on season 7 of "America's Got Talent" in 2012. She claimed she was "sabotaged" during her audition by the producers, who she said asked her to change her act minutes before the recording.

In the original clip from 2012, Paytas' audition stops after a few seconds because all three judges hit their buzzers.

"I'm not really a rapper, I just needed to make up a talent to see Howard Stern," she says, which then earned her a hug from Stern.
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Read more: A podcast hosted by 2 of YouTube's most controversial personalities is creating new conversations about mental health

Paytas and her cohost (and frenemy) Ethan Klein watched the audition during "Frenemies," and Paytas said she was originally going speed-sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" - a skill that she also exhibited on "The Ellen Degeneres Show."

"Literally the minute before, they were like, 'Change of plans, we don't have 'Star Spangled Banner' approved, so you're going to go out there and freestyle, just talk as fast as you can over this beat,'" she said. "I was like, what?"
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The "Star Spangled Banner" is public domain, so it's unlikely that there would need to be a legal approval for the song.

She added she was flown out to Austin, Texas especially for the appearance, and waited there for six hours before performing for the judges. "That's so f---ed up, they're creating all of these crazy situations, that's so dirty," said Klein. "That's actually so exploitative, because you showed up, you spent all this time, and if you're like, no I'm not going to do that, they'll be like, 'Go home.'"
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Insider has reached out to Paytas and representatives for "America's Got Talent" for comment.

Paytas referred to the experience of Zoe Alexander on the podcast, who also appeared on a talent show in 2012 and later said she felt deceived. She told her story on TikTok in 2020, claiming that she'd been traumatized since her audition, where she performed a Pink song - allegedly at the producers' request - and then storms off the stage in anger. Millions of people have seen her video, in which she claims her segment was edited to make her appear more aggressive than she is.

Alexander, who was working as a Pink tribute act at the time, told the X Factor judges she wanted to find her own identity, but was pressured into performing Pink's "So What" instead. The 7-minute clip of Alexander's audition was originally posted on The X Factor's YouTube page with the title "P!nk Impersonator has HUGE TEMPER TANTRUM!" It has been changed to "Zoe Alexander's audition - Pink's So What - The X Factor UK 2012," and comments have been turned off since her TikToks went viral.
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Alexander also said she was also told to arrive at the studio at 6 AM, only to find nobody there, and then stayed in the waiting room for hours. She said she believes the way she was treated was an effort to make her feel "as uncomfortable, uneasy, and scared as possible."

Looking back, Alexander said the show's staff had "bad intentions from the start."

@zoealexanderuk

#duet with @thatsmypurseidontknowyou #xfactor #fyp #zoealexander

♬ original sound - dev ⚡️
An "X Factor" representative did not comment on Alexander's accusations, but pointed Insider towards a 2013 investigation by Ofcom, the UK's broadcasting regulator, that concluded Alexander "was not unfairly portrayed in the programme" since she was "given an opportunity to perform a second song."
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However, the report also cites several "conflicts of evidence," such as the situation where Alexander repeatedly said she did not want to sing a Pink song, but was encouraged to.

Read more: A viral TikTok claims to expose what happened behind-the-scenes during a woman's 'huge temper tantrum' on 'The X Factor'

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