Howie Defies Howard, Keeps Defending 'Big Barry'


With the feud between America's Got Talent judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel recently getting as much publicity as the show itself, we spoke to both stars to find out why they've been fighting over the pint-sized contestant crooner known as "Big Barry."

Mandel told ET after last night's episode of the NBC's hit talent competition that his ongoing on-air "scuffle" with Stern erupted because he truly believes that Providence, Rhode Island singer Barry Layne has a viable "novelty act" that can attract fans and sell tickets.

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"Big Barry" was voted off the show last night, but Mandel continues to show his enthusiasm and said he would even consider teaming up with the eliminated contestant in some other capacity. He also predicted more feuds with Stern in the coming weeks because he plans to keep supporting these kinds of novelty acts.

Stern also said he doesn't see any end to the clashes with Mandel over legitimate talent. "Ever since Las Vegas we've been arguing about this. And there's another act coming up that we've been arguing about and I think that the same blowup is going to occur. Because I don't think it's funny to deny someone a big opportunity, and Howie does."

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Fellow judge Sharon Osbourne also weighed in on the controversy, saying there are clearly "no more Mr. Nice guys" at the judging table. She added that she personally doesn't have a clue whether anybody even voted for "Big Barry."

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