“America’s Got Talent” returns for season 16 starting June 1 on NBC. To promote the return of this summertime favorite, the “AGT” producers recruited the season 15 winner, Brandon Leake, for the first teaser ad. This spoken word poet from Stockton, California earned the Golden Buzzer in the first round from judge Howie Mandel. He performed pieces about his sister who passed away, his father, Black Lives Matter, and his daughter.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forced producers to overhaul the audition process, with the whole search conducted online via a live stream video link. Acts were invited to sign up for the chance to audition from the comfort of their own homes. As in “AGT” seasons past, hopefuls had a chance to meet and perform for a producer using custom-built Zoom technology. Season 13 winner Shin Lim joined the season 16 hopefuls in the virtual audition waiting room where they could ask the magician about his personal “AGT” journey, making for a once-in-a-lifetime audition experience.
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Those acts who make it past the producers were then given a chance to perform for the the four judges on “America’s Got Talent” (Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mandel and Sofia Vergara). It will be those auditions that screen weekly for seven episodes starting June 1. From there, the judges will pick a six dozen to continue on in the competition, including their Golden Buzzer acts who will be sent straight through to the live shows.
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The live shows hosted by Terry Crews are slated to start in early August, with the season 16 winner crowned in late September. As always the winner will pocket a cool million dollars and a contract to headline a Las Vegas casino show.
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