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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

Sethward Finally Revealed the Very Sweet Reason He Keeps Auditioning for AGT

He's now auditioned five (!) times. 

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe

Nobody in the history of America's Got Talent has received more Red X votes than Sethward—and that's a fact the Texas native owns proudly.

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Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

To the delight of fans, the now-infamous AGT novelty Act returned to the show's stage this year during the eighth round of Auditions. If you missed him, Sethward was the wisecracking apple at the end of the episode. Naturally, he wasn't advanced to Live Shows. Again.

"That’s 'gotta be some kind of Boy Scout badge, right?" he tells NBC Insider."I think everybody hates failure because everyone points at you and tells you that failure sucks and that you shouldn’t be doing that. But a good fall on your face is incredibly healthy."

Fans were first introduced to Sethward when he auditioned during Season 13, showcasing a chaotic performance in which he dressed up as a caterpillar and portrayed the insect's metamorphosis into a butterfly. Neither the Judges nor audience understood the Audition, and he received four "no" votes. But undeterred, Sethward auditioned for the series four more times—twice during Season 14—each more peculiar than the next as he'd show up in ill-fitting homemade animal costumes. During Season 16, he was even advanced to the Quarter-Finals, where he depicted a phoenix rising from the ashes—but he was eliminated.

So, why does Sethward keep returning to AGT despite the repeated rejection?

"Why not?" he tells us. "What do you got to lose at this point? And I definitely don’t have dignity, so I don’t got that to lose. I think everyone who goes on AGT has something in the back of their mind saying, 'It would be really nice to win $1 million,' but really, the big goal for me is to win over the hearts of the people watching."

The absurdist comedian explains that he finds "there's a lot of freedom" in creating his various animal Acts (a determined giraffe or a clumsy peacock), which are largely inspired by his own observations of nature that he personally finds hilarious. So even if the AGT fans and Judges don't quite...get it, he hopes he can inspire someone else.

"You gotta try and try again," he said. "What I’m trying to show is that you can’t take life too seriously sometimes. We live in a world that’s absolutely bonkers. I’d like to show there’s a lot of good stuff in the world. There’s a lot of crazy things that you can experience, there’s a lot of fun stuff to do, and I believe that and wanna show that you don’t have to take life so seriously."

So, does that mean we'll see Sethward during Season 18? "I can't stop," he says. "Unless there’s somebody out there that’s gonna put an end to this, I’m gonna keep going."

Watch AGT on NBC Tuesdays at 8/7c and next day on Peacock.

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