The seventeenth season of America’s Got Talent brought a lot of changes. Firstly, the full audience is present again to watch live performances compared to the virtual audience that was used due to COVID-19 restrictions that were introduced back in season 15. The latest change for the NBC series includes a new live broadcast format, which AGT judge Simon Cowell says makes things “more exciting” for viewers.
In previous seasons of America’s Got Talent, live performances started during the quarterfinals and semifinals. This season, these norms were marked by a major change, as 55 acts were divided into five qualifying rounds, and only two of the eleven acts of each week go directly to the finals; one is selected by a night vote of the audience, and the other is selected by judges from the participants who took second, third and fourth places. The famous AGT judge Simon Cowell explained to People what he expects from the new formatting and why it still works for him.
This year we had a lot of wonderful people. So it would be very difficult to try to reduce this number to 36. In a sense, we have simplified the process by letting more people through it. On the other hand, we have complicated the task because only two people per night qualify for the finals. But I think it’s more exciting.
Next Tuesday, America’s Got Talent will return to the Pasadena Civic Center for six weeks of live performances, and the British judge can’t wait! He continued to share his thoughts on the changes and said that he wasn’t exactly thrilled with how things went last season.
I think not knowing what’s going to happen until it does makes it more exciting. Compared to a year ago, when seven people passed through the night, I didn’t feel that much was at stake, to be honest.
This new formatting will put a lot more pressure on contestants seeking a million dollar prize, but it’s a great chance for judges and viewers to see more people this year. Now that the stakes are even higher, the 64-year-old judge is looking forward to meeting his Golden Buzzer winner, 14-year-old Polish singer Sarah James, who wowed the audience by singing her own version of the Billy Eilish song. Beautiful.”Although Cowell acknowledged that doing something original with a popular song is a big risk, compared to safely performing a famous performance, he seemed to praise her a lot for that risk.
After the fifth week of live performances, the top 10 finalists will be announced by the 11th performance of the “Final Wildcard”, chosen by the audience on September 7. Wildcard voting is based on four eliminated live performances chosen by the judges. Once this is done, these finalists will once again compete for the Voice of America during the two-day finals on September 13 and 14. Only one winner will receive the $1 million grand prize and the opportunity to perform “America’s Got Talent Las Vegas LIVE,” and fans will no doubt agree that the new changes make it harder to guess who will win.
So, which of the performers are you betting on to win the grand prize? Among the artists who are moving towards live performances is Ben Lapidus, who for the first time performed his controversial but comedic “Song about Parmesan Cheese”, which Cowell was not a fan of and could not get out of his head all his life. The former American Idol judge also wasn’t subdued when he touted Lace Larabee’s comedic styles. There is also a teenage dancer Max Ostler, whom judge Sofia Vergara gave a standing ovation after his touching dance to “Falling Like The Stars” by James Arthur. Drake Milligan plans to continue participating in the TV talent show, despite the fact that his original song “Sounds Like Something I’d Do” took first place on iTunes in the country genre. And we can’t forget season 17 wildcards like Ozzy Blood, Ben Waits, Debbie Dawson and Jordan Conley.
Get ready to find out why Simon Cowell is excited about the new live show format on Tuesday for the second qualifying round at 20:00. and catch up on your Peacock subscription.