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How YouTube users fabricate videos to fake participation in popular talent shows

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DUBAWA has identified a noteworthy case involving certain YouTube accounts that consistently share edited videos, falsely presenting themselves as participants on “America’s Got Talent” (AGT) or “Britain’s Got Talent” (BGT). Both televised talent show competitions are part of the global Got Talent franchise created by Simon Cowell.

The programme attracts participants from the United States and other parts of the world, showcasing talents such as singing, dancing, comedy, magic, stunts, and other genres. Contestants audition in hopes of impressing a panel of judges and securing a spot in the live episodes of a season.

During the show, participants who deliver the most remarkable performances receive a confetti award known as the Golden Buzzer, indicating a promising start in the competition.

DUBAWA discovered certain YouTube accounts that claimed to have appeared on these popular shows. These accounts had several inconsistencies that raised suspicion.

One of them is JoeGE, a YouTube user who claims to be the first Kenyan to appear on “America’s Got Talent.” Since 2022, JoeGE has shared video clips of himself singing on AGT and getting the golden buzzer on both shows. In one video from 2022, JoeGE introduces himself as George to a judge, with the audience cheering his performance. 

JoeGE’s YouTube channel had 832,000 subscribers and 123 videos at the time of review. His videos garnered significant views and comments from unsuspecting users. For instance, in response to a video shared on June 5, 2024, a user named @CerolDeloach commented, “Someone needs to sign this young man; his recordings would be a blockbuster.” 

Another user, @PricilliaMac1, said, “This guy is where Bob Marley should have been. Not with drugs, but with Jesus. His heart is so clear, and I hope he stays with his faith and grows stronger each moment of each day.”

This is a harmless response from people who watched and enjoyed the performance of a person they believe was on AGT or BGT. Our analysis of his videos, however, raised many questions.

First, JoeGE’s voice varies between performances, and his interactions with the judges appear unnatural. Find instances here, here, here, and here. Like many other videos checked, his contents had qualities of a fabricated or manipulated one. 

JoeGE is one of many sharing fake content related to reality shows to attract traffic. Another YouTube account, “Baby Native,” also shared videos of herself supposedly singing on the AGT stage. Like JoeGE, her performances are shown to elicit emotional responses from the judges and audience. However, “Baby Native” has only 14,000 subscribers and seven videos on her channel, though her clips have also attracted numerous comments.

DUBAWA also traced accounts like Atom Filmz International, Saviour King, Peter King Ora, George Nyoro, and Esther Shines. All YouTube accounts share an uncanny sense of similarity.

Along with all pending doubts and the line of accounts traced to have the same traits, we decided to investigate further. 

Sorting Facts

Starting with the first account that DUBAWA discovered, we employed video verification tools to determine if JoeGE had ever appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” Using Google reverse image search on a recent video posted by JoeGE, DUBAWA was directed to another video on YouTube, revealing that the clip was from the second episode of the 2024 AGT auditions. JoeGE, the Kenyan YouTube user, is not seen in the entire clip.

Similarly, another video that caught our attention was also put through a Google Reverse Image Search. The results showed that the video was from “Britain’s Got Talent.” See the video here.

In the same vein, Baby Native’s clip, purported to be her performance at AGT, was revealed to be a doctored video from a separate footage that has nothing to do with what this YouTube user has been sharing. See the real video sample here.

Other accounts were also found to share altered videos that mislead many users.

DUBAWA visited the social media pages of both “America’s Got Talent” and “Britain’s Got Talent,” but none of these YouTube users appeared on the official pages of the talent shows.

Stretched findings

Luring people doesn’t stop at YouTube. Further investigation reveals that videos like JoeGE’s have been widely shared by numerous social media users who appeared to have believed he participated in the competition. Check out some of the Facebook posts here, here, here, here, here, and here. 

In contrast to other accounts analysed by DUBAWA on YouTube, JoeGE’s content appears to have spread more extensively across various social media platforms. This could be attributed to his consistent posting on YouTube, which surpasses that of others. It’s likely he has successfully misled many into believing he was a contestant on one of these talent shows.

A glaring instance on TikTok involves a video shared by an account named “Highlight Truth Ministries.” The video begins with a white man claiming, “This man is bravely saying ‘worthy is your name’ at America’s Got Talent,” praising the performance as both singing and worship. He then directs viewers to watch another clip. 

The subsequent clip maintains the same quality and features as the previously debunked fabricated videos. The account user concludes by praising the song, urging viewers to like and share, and questioning whether they believe the performer was actually at the competition. This post garnered significant engagement, with 128,600 likes, 7,779 bookmarks, 10,000 shares, and 4,115 comments from individuals who either believed the claim or acknowledged the singer’s talent despite the deception.

Similar contents were also found on TikTok here, here, here, here, and here.

In our pursuit to demonstrate these content creators’ fraudulent practices, we stumbled upon a revealing video that exposes fabrication methods. You can watch it here

Additionally, JoeGE’s YouTube page features a link directing users to a separate webpage titled “JoeGE Love and Care Foundation.” This page solicits donations for the needy, with the initial screen prompting users to enter the amount they wish to donate in dollars. The subsequent pages request personal information, including name, email address, and payment details. This setup raises serious concerns about potential malicious intentions and manipulation tactics employed by JoeGE and others.


All evidence gathered from our inquiries confirms that the videos shared by the YouTube users are fabricated, and none of them were ever participants in the competition. DUBAWA will continue to monitor and investigate JoeGE’s account to uncover more details about the donation platform and any potential deceptive practices associated with it.

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with Prime Progress, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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