Week after week, America's Got Talent continues to shock and amaze us all. But while many of the auditions are beyond exceptional, only a few select are chosen by the judge panel to receive the coveted golden buzzer. So ... what exactly does this special privilege mean for AGT contestants?
Well, the golden buzzer signifies that the act is going straight to the live shows. Each judge (and host, if they want!) is only allowed one press during the entire season, but they aren't required to use their turn at all.
When originally introduced in season 9, the golden buzzer was designed for tie-breaking purposes – meaning, the act would go to the next round regardless of how the other judges voted. But the rules changed to what they are now in season 10.
So far, Howie Mandel, Tyra Banks, Mel B, and Simon Cowell have used their golden buzzer turns in season 13 — that leaves Heidi Klum who has yet to use her buzzer.
Through his incredible rendition of "To Love Somebody," Michael Ketterer, a father of six (including five foster children), won the heart of Simon Cowell — an arguably difficult thing to do. Simon explained why he selected the soft-spoken singer as his golden buzzer pick, saying that for him "it's just about being real and a surprise." Michael is definitely both.
Many acrobatic acts have impressed the judges on AGT before, but none captured their attention quite like the Austria-based group Zurcaroh did. All 48 athletes owned the stage during a performance that was described by Howie and Heidi simply as "wow!" Host Tyra Banks was particularly stoked about the group and quickly interjected with a golden buzzer nomination before even letting the panel vote on the act. Judging by all their reactions though, a vote probably wasn't necessary anyway.
The teenager from Canyon Lake, CA performs "Warrior" by Demi Lovato. Watch as she earns the coveted Golden Buzzer from Heidi Klum, which sends her straight to the live shows at the Dolby Theater.
The Canyon Lake, Calfornia, native wowed judges on NBC's "America's Got Talent" Tuesday with her booming vocals in a rendition of Demi Lovato's "Warrior." Strutting across stage, she seemed a natural star reveling in her element that left even judge Simon Cowell impressed.
It was all nerves and hugs before Phillips went on stage. This was a lifelong dream, her parents said backstage. The daughter of a firefighter and a drama teacher, Phillips has watched "AGT" since she was 3 and wanted to be on the show ever since. She honed her singing skills, driving her parents crazy by practicing at even the most inconvenient hour of3 a.m.
Mary and Tyce, the trapeze couple that fell on America's Got Talent, knew that going into the Judge Cuts round was going to require them to really step up their game, so they decided to make the already-challenging trapeze act even more so. Tyce was going to do the routine blindfolded, which mean everything was dependent on verbal cues.
"We have a music cue that I'm waiting for, but I also give Mary a verbal cue," Tyce explained to Entertainment Tonight. "What happens is, when she falls, when she lets go, I have to place my hands directly in the right spot to catch her feet at the right time or I miss her."