By DIEGO JESUS BARTESAGHI MENA
bartesaghi@montclairlocal.news

Zac Taylor, the 17-year-old from Montclair who wowed the judges during an America’s Got Talent audition episode that aired on July 20, didn’t make it to the live performance stage of the show. 

Out of the 150 acts that auditioned this year, only 36 moved to the live-show stage of the competition, which began this week.

“Nearly half are vocal artists, and many have significant recording/performing experience, so competition in that space is very strong this year,” Howard Taylor, Zac’s father, told Montclair Local in an email. “Zac enjoyed the experience and has learned along the way.” 

During his audition, Taylor performed a cover of “Best Part” by Daniel Caesar. Taylor impressed the judges with his performance. All four judges gave him a ‘Yes.’ Simon Cowell, known for his harsh and honest critiques, said he felt Taylor’s performance was genuine. 

“You’re very cool, very current,” Cowell said. 

Judge Sofia Vergara also joined Cowell telling him that his singing was adorable: “I think the girls are going wild for you!" Co-Judge Heidi Klum also agreed. 

But not every performer who impressed the judges was selected for the live, quarterfinals portion of the show. When the list was released this week, Taylor's name wasn't on it.

Taylor was first discovered by an AGT producer who contacted him through his social media accounts, where Taylor posted videos of himself singing. He’s @zactaylor129 on Instagram, and @zactaylorsinging on TikTok, where he has more than 51,000 followers.

Taylor previously told Montclair Local spent five days in Los Angeles for the audition and had to wait for more than two months to see it on TV.

He said at the time the experience participating in the competition had been uplifting. He made friends during the show and remains in touch with one of them. 

“It made the show really enjoyable since everyone was cheering everyone on and everyone was really supportive, which made it a lot better and easier,” Taylor said.