The superfans on “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” are a controversial bunch, and for good reason. At-home viewers are frustrated, maybe even a little jealous, that these delegates from all 50 states get to call the shots instead of them. (See how the voting process works.) Love ’em or hate ’em, the superfans are here to stay on “The Champions” as we approach the February 10 finale. But are they biased toward homegrown American acts, since they’re obviously already familiar with their stories? Or do the superfans deserve credit for voting for performers from all around the world? Let’s investigate.
Of the Top 50 acts from the first season, the superfans were only allowed to vote five of them into the finals. They were: close-up magician Shin Lim, comedian Preacher Lawson and singer Brian Justin Crum from “America’s Got Talent,” Cristina Ramos from “Spain’s Got Talent” and Paul Potts from “Britain’s Got Talent.” Bottom line: 3/5 were “AGT” acts.
As you’ll recall, the other seven finalists that year were a combination of judges’ wild cards (ventriloquist Darci Lynne and magician Jon Dorenbos) and Golden Buzzers (sand artist Kseniya Simonova, singer Angelica Hale, knife throwers Deadly Games, singer Kechi Okwuchi and singer Susan Boyle).
When it came time for the superfans to vote for the winner, their favorite two acts turned out to be a pair of “America’s Got Talent” alums: winner Shin Lim and runner-up Darci Lynne. It makes sense the voters would have an affinity toward these two in particular, since they were coming off back-to-back wins on the main “AGT” stage in Season 13 and Season 12, respectively. But the process definitely seemed to give an unfair advantage to acts from America.
Heading into the second season, the role of the superfans changed slightly. Now they got to advance two acts from each of the four audition shows into a new semi-finals round. The eight fan picks were: acrobats Duo Transcend, violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa and danger act Sandou Trio Russian Bar from “AGT,” Marc Spelmann from “BGT,” magician Dania Diaz from “Spain’s Got Talent,” falsetto singer Marcelito Pomoy from “Philippines Got Talent,” acrobats Duo Destiny from “Poland’s Got Talent” and contortionist Strauss Serpent from “Africa’s Got Talent.” Bottom line: 3/8 were “AGT” acts.
On last Monday’s episode all 12 semi-finalists competed for a shot in the finals. After watching their performances carefully, the superfans cast their votes for five acts, which included three “AGT” favorites (Hans, Sandou Trio and Tyler) and one each from “German’s Got Talent” (Alexa Lauenburger) and “Philippines Got Talent” (Marcelito). Bottom line: 3/5 were “AGT” acts.
Taking it all in, that means 9 of the superfans’ 18 choices across both season hailed from the American version of the reality TV show, or exactly 50%. In the upcoming finale, will they once again pick a winner and runner-up from “America’s Got Talent,” as they did last year? Or will performances from other countries blow them away instead? We’ll all find out Monday night on NBC.