After watching the first act, you may have thought that Howie overacted. After all, it's the first time in five seasons that a judge is so afraid of an act that he leaves the judge's table! But fears, such as Howie's germaphobia, are no laughing matter for the person suffering them (see Salma Hayek's reaction to a snake for a prime example). Howie was not faking it and was truly scared at the talent about to be performed on stage. But Howie being Howie, he added a dash of humor to his reaction.
Since he couldn't prevent the performer from doing his act, Howie Xed him before the act began and left the judge's table (see picture on the right) to hide in the crowd far far away from the stage. Luckily, Howie's misery was quickly over and he was able to rejoin the table and claim "This is not a talent. H1N1!"
Would Chicago offer more challenges for germaphobe Howie? Would the other acts be as bad as this first one?
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