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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

Why Heidi and Sofia Loved Koko Hayashi — But Howie and Simon Gave Her a Red X

Although Koko Hayashi touted her face yoga as the “natural alternative to plastic surgery,” it left Simon Cowell feeling "stupid."

By Jill Sederstrom

It was a face-off between the Judges on America’s Got Talent.

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While Judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel were decidedly unimpressed with face yoga pro Koko Hayashi, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara were nothing but smiles during the unconventional act.

“Simon, this is a natural alternative to plastic surgery,” Hayashi told him after the veteran Judge gave her the red X.

“I know, but we’re looking stupid,” Cowell replied.

With just two votes of support from the women at the table, it wasn’t enough to send Hayashi further in the competition, but at least one Judge was hoping for a house call.

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“Do you do, like, private sessions?” Vergara asked.

“Of course,” Hayashi replied.

“Yeah, have her come to your house,” Mandel quickly shot back. “I think this is something you should do in private, not on a stage in front of millions of people.”

Who is Koko Hayashi?

Originally from Japan, Hayashi now runs her business, Koko Face Yoga, from Los Angeles.

Koko Hayashi performs on the America's Got Talent Stage

“It’s the natural solution to regain or maintain your youthful appearance,” the 44-year-old explained to the Judges.

It wasn’t the first time Hayashi has turned to television to promote her unique brand. She’s also appeared on Shark Tank and Keeping Up With the Kardashians, according to her website.

The facial pro also has an active YouTube page and Instagram, where she shares videos and tutorials of her face yoga exercises.

And it turns out, she already has at least one famous follower.

“I follow you on Instagram!” Vergara told her before the act began. “I do some exercises in the car while I’m driving.”

And it sounds like she may soon be gaining another. After Vergara revealed her connection to Hayashi, Klum was quick to call out her fellow Judge and BFF for holding out on her.

“I’m upset, why didn’t you share this with me, Sofia?” Klum asked.

“Because I don’t think you can do it,” Vergara replied.

“What do you mean? I thought we share everything and you’re hiding this secret from me,” Klum added before the women were reminded by Mandel that they were in the middle of a show and would have to hash it out later.

What is face yoga?

Could face yoga be a secret fountain of youth? As Vogue describes it, face yoga “is a gentle form of strength training for your face and neck that typically concentrates on one of the 57 facial muscles (or groups of muscles) at a time.”

There isn’t much current scientific data to prove its benefits, but proponents of the practice say it can help improve the elasticity of the face, aid circulation, and result in a more sculpted look.

Koko Hayashi performs on the America's Got Talent Stage

"The most immediate benefits of face yoga will be in the appearance of a more firmed visage, greater skin clarity, and an overall more rested appearance," Shrankhla Holecek, an Ayurvedic expert and founder of UMA Oils told Real Simple.

Hayashi insists on her website that her method of face yoga will help people “wake up the sleeping muscles” in their face to “lift up skin and relax over-working muscles for wrinkle reduction.”

During her Act, she led the Judges through a series of facial exercises, including one where they smiled widely and moved their tongue from one side of their mouth to another.

In another warm-up exercise, the Judges were hilariously instructed to push air through their lips to make what sounded like farting noises.

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“The bigger, the better,” Hayashi said as the audience broke out into laughter.

Why did the Judges vote “No” for Koko Hayashi?

While face yoga is touted as the natural anti-aging solution, the goofiness of the exercises was too much for Cowell. Just a few exercises in, an exacerbated Cowell slammed on his buzzer to send out the dreaded red X.

Mandel held out a bit longer, but then ultimately followed suit.

“You don’t believe in face yoga?” Hayashi asked.

“I don’t want to look youthful,” he replied back.

Mandel even tried to influence the remaining Judges, first reaching over and pressing Klum’s red X button for her and then getting out of his chair to press Vergara’s.

“No, no, no! Take it off! Take it off!” Vergara yelled.

Both women voted to keep Hayashi in the competition, but it wasn’t enough to send her forward.

 “You got two "Yeses' and that’s all,” Mandel told her. “It’s not enough.”

The outcome didn’t dampen Hayashi’s spirits. She was soon back on Instagram sharing before and after photos of her clients and describing the benefits of her exercises.