America’s Got Talent (often abbreviated as AGT) is a televised American talent show competition and is part of the global Got Talent franchise created by Simon Cowell. The program is produced by Fremantle USA (as well as distributed by) and Syco Entertainment, and broadcasts on the NBC television network.
The sixteenth season of the American talent show competition was broadcast on NBC from June 1 to September 15, 2021. Although production was still impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, live audiences were involved during audition sessions and live round stages of the competition.
America’s Got Talent’s Participants
The program attracts a variety of participants from across the United States and abroad, who possess some form of talent. Acts range from singing, dancing, comedy, magic, stunts, variety, and other genres. Each participant or act who auditions, attempts to secure a place in the live episodes of a season, by impressing a panel of judges. The current line-up consists of Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofía Vergara. Participants making it into the live episodes compete against each other for both the judges’ and the public’s votes, to reach the live final. The winner receives a large cash prize (primarily paid over a while).
Each season’s competition begins with a set of audition stages, the first being the “Producers’ Auditions”, which are conducted across various cities in the United States. An independent group determines who will take part in the next stage of auditions titled “Judges’ Auditions.” After auditions are completed, the judges conduct a special session (or second “audition” round) to determine which participants will secure a place in the live rounds of the competition. Participants who pass their auditions and secure a place in the live rounds of the competition are divided into groups and compete against each other to secure a place in the live final of the competition.
America’s Got Talent’s Seasons and Show Success
The show itself has been a rating success for NBC, drawing in on average around 10 million viewers per season. In 2013, a book titled Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America’s Got Talent was released, describing the seasons, contestants, judges, and production techniques of the show.
The sixteenth season was won by magician Dustin Tavella, with aerialist Aidan Bryant finishing second, and stand-up comedian Josh Blue placing third. During its broadcast, the season averaged around 6.6 million viewers, excluding its online Wildcard special. The hosts agreed to grant a group Golden Buzzer for the first time in the program’s history. Singer Nightbirde withdrew from the competition to focus on her battle with cancer, despite receiving a Golden Buzzer. Her place was converted into a Wildcard slot, and 5 participants were picked from the eliminated lot.
The 17th season of the show premiered on May 31, 2022, to September 14, 2022, and was won by dance group Mayyas, with pole dancer Kristy Sellars finishing second, and singer and guitarist Drake Milligan placing third.