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America's Got Talent logo

America's Got Talent (abbreviated AGT) is an American reality television series on the NBC television network. It is a talent show that features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, and other performers of all ages competing for the advertised top prize of US$1 million. The show debuted in June 2006 for the summer television season and its current season premiered on May 29, 2018.

Among its significant features are that it gives opportunities to talented amateurs or unknown performers, with the results decided by an audience vote.

The current incarnation was created by Simon Cowell, and was originally due to be a 2005 British series called Paul O'Grady's Got Talent, but was postponed due to O'Grady's acrimonious split with broadcaster ITV. As such, the American version became the first full series of the Got Talent franchise. Despite being heavily involved in the show's production, Cowell did not appear as a judge, due to the conditions of his contract with Fox Network, until the eleventh season.

History

# Winner Runners-up 4th/5th/6th Place Judges Host Premiere Finale
1 Bianca Ryan All That The Millers Taylor Ware Celtic Spring N/A Piers Morgan Brandy Norwood David Hasselhoff Regis Philbin June 21, 2006 August 17, 2006
2 Terry Fator Cas Haley Butterscotch Julienne Irwin N/A N/A Piers Morgan Sharon Osbourne David Hasselhoff Jerry Springer June 5, 2007 August 21, 2007
3 Neal E. Boyd Eli Mattson Nuttin' But Stringz Donald Braswell Queen Emily N/A Piers Morgan Sharon Osbourne David Hasselhoff Jerry Springer June 17, 2008 October 1, 2008
4 Kevin Skinner Barbara Padilla Recycled Percussion The Texas Tenors The Voices of Glory N/A Piers Morgan Sharon Osbourne David Hasselhoff Nick Cannon June 23, 2009 September 16, 2009
5 Michael Grimm Jackie Evancho Fighting Gravity Prince Poppycock N/A N/A Piers Morgan Sharon Osbourne Howie Mandel Nick Cannon June 1, 2010 September 15, 2010
6 Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Silhouettes Team iLuminate POPLYFE N/A N/A Piers Morgan Sharon Osbourne Howie Mandel Nick Cannon May 31, 2011 September 14, 2011
7 Olate Dogs Tom Cotter William Close David Garibaldi and His CMYK's Joe Castillo The Untouchables Howard Stern Sharon Osbourne Howie Mandel Nick Cannon May 14, 2012 September 13, 2012
8 Kenichi Ebina Taylor Williamson Jimmy Rose Forte Collins Key Cami Bradley Howard Stern Heidi Klum Mel B Howie Mandel Nick Cannon June 4, 2013 September 18, 2013
9 Mat Franco Emily West AcroArmy Sons of Serendip Quintavious Johnson Miguel Dakota Howard Stern Heidi Klum Mel B Howie Mandel Nick Cannon May 26, 2014 September 17, 2014
10 Paul Zerdin Drew Lynch Oz Pearlman The Professional Regurgitator The CraigLewis Band N/A Howard Stern Heidi Klum Mel B Howie Mandel Nick Cannon May 26, 2015 September 16, 2015
11 Grace VanderWaal The Clairvoyants Jon Dorenbos Brian Justin Crum Sal Valentinetti N/A Howie Mandel Mel B Heidi Klum Simon Cowell Nick Cannon May 31, 2016 September 14, 2016
12 Darci Lynne Angelica Hale Light Balance Mandy Harvey Sara and Hero N/A Howie Mandel Mel B Heidi Klum Simon Cowell Tyra Banks May 30, 2017 September 20, 2017
13 Shin Lim Zurcaroh Brian King Joseph Samuel J. Comroe Michael Ketterer N/A Howie Mandel Mel B Heidi Klum Simon Cowell Tyra Banks May 29, 2018 September 19, 2018

Overview

America's Got Talent allow contestants of all ages and of all talents to give minutes-long performances in front of a set of judges. At the end of each performance, the judges evaluate those performances. Each earlier rounds each season, judges decide which acts move forward and which acts are eliminated. In later rounds, contestants perform live, after which American viewers can vote for the acts they want to see moving forward.

Judges' Votes

During the auditions, the judges vote at the end of each round whether to send an act to the next round with a "Yes" or a "No." In seasons with three judges (1 - 7), two "Yes" votes send an act to the next round. In seasons with four judges (8 - present), three "Yes" votes send an act to the next round.

During the live shows in Season 1, the "Yes" votes took the form of a check, while the "No" votes took the form of a post-performance buzzer. In subsequent seasons, the judges simply verbalize their votes after each act's performance.

Buzzer

Each judge can press their Buzzer during a performance if they disapprove of an act or want the performance to end.  Four buzzes automatically ends the performance, or in the case of Judge Cuts, not only ends the performance but automatically eliminates the act from further competition.

Wild Card

Any eliminated act that receives a Wild Card returns to the competition. The format was adjusted in Season 11, where the judges choose two acts from those eliminated in Judge Cuts to return to the competition in the Quarterfinals (a third act was automatically passed through to even out the numbers), and one from the eliminated quarterfinalists to return for the Semifinals.

Judges' Choice

Introduced in Season 3, the Judges' Choice appears in live show results episodes (excluding the season finale). The judges can vote to send one of two acts, acts with the least amount of votes to be eligible for the next round, to the next round.
Starting in Season 9, the Judges' Choice is contested between the two remaining acts that did not win the Instant Save.  In a 3-judge panel, a two-vote majority is needed for an act to advance to the next round while a three-vote majority is needed in a 4-judge panel.  In the case of a 2-2 tie in the 4-judge configuration, the tie is broken by reverting to the public vote from the night before, with the act that receives more votes than their opponent advancing.

Golden Buzzer

Introduced in Season 9, the Golden Buzzer can be pressed by each judges only once per season. In Season 9, the Golden Buzzer sent the act receiving the Golden Buzzer to the next round regardless of the other judges' votes; its main purpose was to break ties. In Season 10, the Golden Buzzer was upgraded to send an act straight to the live shows.
Each judge during the auditions starting in Season 10 had the opportunity to press the Golden Buzzer for an act they thought stood out for them, which would send that act to the live shows. In Judge Cuts, each guest judge was also given a Golden Buzzer for the same reason. Starting in Season 11, the show's host was also given the power to use one during the audition phase.

Instant Save

Introduced in Season 9 during the Semifinals, the Instant Save appears in live show results episodes (excluding the season finale). American voters can vote to save one of three acts, acts with the least amount of votes among top vote-getters, to the next round. The remaining two acts participate in the Judges' Choice.
In Season 10 , the format was reconfigured.  In the Quarterfinals, the three acts that finished in 6th, 7th and 8th place in the public vote went on to contest for the Instant Save, while in the Semifinals it was the three acts that finished in 4th, 5th and 6th place.

In Season 9, the Instant Save was named the Snapple Save, while from Season 10 onwards, it was named the Dunkin' Save.

Season 1

Season 1 premiered on June 21, 2006, with Piers Morgan, Brandy Norwood, and David Hasselhoff as judges. Regis Philbin served as host. The season consisted of 15 episodes and at least 83 acts. The season concluded on August 17, 2006, with Bianca Ryan as the winner.

Name Act Result
Bianca Ryan Singer Winner
All That Clogging Group 2nd/3rd Place
The Millers Singer/Guitarist and Harmonicist 2nd/3rd Place
Celtic Spring Violin/Irish Dance Group 4th/5th Place
Taylor Ware Singer/Yodeler 4th/5th Place
At Last Vocal Group Top 10
David & Dania - Quick Change Quick Change Act Top 10
Jon & Owen - The Passing Zone Comedy Juggler Duo Top 10
Rappin' Granny Rapper Top 10
Realis Acrobatic Dance Duo Top 10

Season 2

Season 2 premiered on June 5, 2007, with Piers Morgan and David Hasselhoff returning as judges. Sharon Osbourne debuted as a judge and Jerry Springer debuted as host. The season consisted of 12 episodes and at least 107 acts. The season introduced the Vegas Round to the competition. The season concluded on August 21, 2007, with Terry Fator as the winner.

Name Act Result
Terry Fator Ventriloquist/Singing Impressionist Winner
Cas Haley Singer/Guitarist 2nd Place
Butterscotch Beatboxer/Singer 3rd Place
Julienne Irwin Singer 4th Place
Jason Pritchett Singer/Guitarist Top 8
Robert Hatcher Singer Top 8
Sideswipe Martial Arts Dance Group Top 8
The Glamazons Burlesque Vocal Group Top 8
Calypso Tumblers Tumblers/Acrobatic Group Top 10
The Duttons Family Country Band Top 10

Season 3

Season 3 premiered on June 17, 2008, with Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff all returning as judges. Jerry Springer returned as host. The season consisted of 20 episodes and at least 169 acts. The season introduced the Quarterfinals to the competition. The season concluded on October 1, 2008, with Neal E. Boyd as the winner.

Name Act Result
Neal E. Boyd Opera Singer Winner
Eli Mattson Singer/Pianist 2nd Place
Nuttin' But Stringz Hip-Hop Violin Duo 3rd Place
Donald Braswell Opera Singer 4th Place
Queen Emily Singer 5th Place
Jessica Price Singer/Guitarist Top 10
Joseph Hall Elvis Impersonator Top 10
Kaitlyn Maher Singer Top 10
Paul Salos Frank Sinatra Impersonator Top 10
The Wright Kids Bluegrass Band Top 10

Season 4

Season 4 premiered on June 23, 2009, with Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff all returning as judges. Nick Cannon debuted as host. The season consisted of 26 episodes and at least 173 acts. The season concluded on September 16, 2009, with Kevin Skinner as the winner.

Name Act Result
Kevin Skinner Country Singer/Guitarist Winner
Barbara Padilla Opera Singer 2nd Place
Recycled Percussion Percussion Group 3rd Place
The Texas Tenors Vocal Trio 4th Place
Voices of Glory Vocal Trio 5th Place
Drew Stevyns Singer/Guitarist Top 10
Fab Five Clogging Group Top 10
Grandma Lee Stand-up Comedienne Top 10
Hairo Torres Contortionist Breakdancer Top 10
Lawrence Beamen Bass Singer Top 10

Season 5

Season 5 premiered on June 1, 2010, with Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne returning as judges. Howie Mandel debuted as a judge. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 32 episodes and at least 180 acts. The season introduced YouTube Week to the competition. The season concluded on September 15, 2010, with Michael Grimm as the winner.

Name Act Result
Michael Grimm Singer/Guitarist Winner
Jackie Evancho Opera Singer 2nd Place
Fighting Gravity Blacklight Dance Group 3rd Place
Prince Poppycock Opera Singer 4th Place
Anna and Patryk Ballroom Dancer Duo Top 10
Christina & Ali Vocal Duo Top 10
Jeremy Vanschoonhoven Stunt Biker Top 10
Michael Grasso Magician Top 10
Studio One Young Beast Society Dance Group Top 10
Taylor Mathews Singer/Guitarist Top 10

Season 6

Season 6 premiered on May 31, 2011, with Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and Howie Mandel all returning as judges. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 32 episodes and at least 173 acts. The season concluded on September 14, 2011, with Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. as the winner. 

Name Act Result
Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Singer Winner
Silhouettes Shadow Dance Group 2nd Place
Team iLuminate Light-up Suit Dance Group 3rd Place
POPLYFE Band 4th Place
Anna Graceman Singer/Pianist Top 10
Landon Swank Magician Top 10
Lys Agnès Opera Singer Top 10
Miami All Stars Dance Group Top 10
Smage Bros. Riding Shows Stunt Motorbike Team Top 10
West Springfield Dance Team Dance Group Top 10

Season 7

Season 7 premiered on May 14, 2012, with Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel returning as judges. Howard Stern debuted as a judge. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 31 episodes and at least 182 acts. The season concluded on September 13, 2012, with the Olate Dogs as the winner.

Name Act Result
Olate Dogs Dog Act Winner
Tom Cotter Sand-up Comedian 2nd Place
William Close Earth Harpist 3rd Place
David Garibaldi and His CMYK's Painting Dance Group 4th Place
Joe Castillo Sand Artist 5th Place
The Untouchables Dance Group 6th Place

Season 8

Season 8 premiered on June 4, 2013, with Howard Stern and Howie Mandel returning as judges. Heidi Klum and Mel B debuted as judges. The season was the first to feature four judges instead of three. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 27 episodes and at least 140 acts. The season concluded on September 18, 2013, with Kenichi Ebina as the winner.

Name Act Result
Kenichi Ebina Dancer Winner
Taylor Williamson Stand-up Comedian 2nd Place
Jimmy Rose Country Singer/Guitarist 3rd Place
Forte Opera Trio 4th Place
Collins Key Magician 5th Place
Cami Bradley Singer/Pianist 6th Place
Branden James Opera Singer Top 12
Catapult Entertainment Shadow Dance Group Top 12
Chicago Boyz Acrobat Team Top 12
D'Angelo and Amanda Ballroom Dancer Duo Top 12
Innovative Force Acrobatic Dance Group Top 12
KriStef Brothers Hand Balancer Duo Top 12

Season 9

Season 9 premiered on May 26, 2014, with Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all returning as judges. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 24 episodes and at least 135 acts. The season concluded on September 17, 2014, with Mat Franco as the winner.

Name Act Result
Mat Franco Magician Winner
Emily West Singer 2nd Place
AcroArmy Acrobatic Group 3rd Place
Sons of Serendip Band 4th Place
Quintavious Johnson Singer 5th Place
Miguel Dakota Singer/Guitarist 6th Place
Blue Journey Shadow Dance Duo Top 12
Christian Stoinev Hand Balancer Top 12
David and Leeman Magicians Top 12
Emil and Dariel Rock Cellists Top 12
Mara Justine Singer Top 12
Mike Super Mystifier Top 12

Season 10

Season 10 premiered on May 26, 2015, with Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel all returning as judges. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 23 episodes and at least 164 acts. The season concluded on September 16, 2015, with Paul Zerdin as the winner.

Name Act Result
Paul Zerdin Ventriloquist Winner
Drew Lynch Stand-up Comedian 2nd Place
Oz Pearlman Mentalist 3rd Place
The Professional Regurgitator Regurgitator 4th Place
The CraigLewis Band R&B Vocal Duo 5th Place
Benton Blount Country Singer/Guitarist Top 10
Derek Hughes Magician/Comedian Top 10
Gary Vider Stand-up Comedian Top 10
Piff the Magic Dragon Magician/Comedian Top 10
Uzeyer Novruzov Ladder Acrobat Top 10

Season 11

Season 11 premiered on May 31, 2016, with Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel returning as judges. Simon Cowell debuted as a judge. Nick Cannon returned as host. The season consisted of 22 episodes and at least 148 acts. The season concluded on September 14, 2016, with Grace VanderWaal as the winner.

Name Act Result
Grace VanderWaal Singer/Ukuleleist Winner
The Clairvoyants Mentalist Duo 2nd Place
Jon Dorenbos Magician 3rd Place
Brian Justin Crum Pop Singer 4th Place
Sal Valentinetti Jazz Singer 5th Place
Laura Bretan Opera Singer Top 10
Linkin' Bridge Vocal Group Top 10
Sofie Dossi Contortionist/Aerialist Top 10
Tape Face Mime Top 10
Viktor Kee Juggler Top 10

Season 12

Season 12 premiered on May 30, 2017, with Heidi KlumMel B, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell all returning as judges. Tyra Banks debuted as host. The season consisted of 22 episodes and at least 126 acts. The season concluded on September 20, 2017, with Darci Lynne as the winner.

Name Act Result
Darci Lynne Singing Ventriloquist Winner
Angelica Hale Singer 2nd Place
Light Balance Light-Up Dance Crew 3rd Place
Mandy Harvey Singer/Ukuleist 4th Place
Sara and Hero Dog Act 5th Place
Chase Goehring Singer/Guitarist Top 10
Diavolo Acrobatic Dance Group Top 10
Evie Clair Singer/Pianist Top 10
Kechi Singer Top 10
Preacher Lawson Stand-up Comedian Top 10

Season 13

Season 13 premiered on May 29, 2018, with Heidi KlumMel B, Howie Mandel, and Simon Cowell all returning as judges. Tyra Banks returned as host. The season concluded on September 19, 2018, with Shin Lim as the winner.

Name Act Result
Shin Lim Magician Winner
Zurcaroh Acrobatic Group 2nd Place
Brian King Joseph Electric Violinist 3rd Place
Samuel J. Comroe Stand-up Comedian 4th Place
Michael Ketterer Singer 5th Place
Courtney Hadwin Singer/Dancer Top 10
Daniel Emmet Opera Singer Top 10
Duo Transcend Trapeze Duo Top 10
Glennis Grace Singer Top 10
Vicki Barbolak Stand-up Comedienne Top 10