Ventriloquist Terry Fator won America’s Got Talent season 2 way back in 2007. He then went on to sign a multi-million dollar contract for a Las Vegas residency at The Mirage. He’s been going strong ever since. But now he’s back to compete AGAIN on America’s Got Talent: All Stars.
In a preview from Monday’s (Jan 2) AGT: All Stars premiere, judge Simon Cowell declares that in terms of variety acts, Terry has inspired more contestants than anyone on any show around the world. Simon asks Terry straight up why he’s back to compete on the show. “Fifteen years ago I started to inspire people,” Terry explained, “Now I’ve got a whole new set of audience and fans out there to inspire,” he continued, “We got to keep inspiring people, that’s why I’m here.”
Does Terry have anything to prove at this point? He has re-signed his multi-million dollar contract THREE TIMES. So probably not! But “competing” on AGT as a way to promote his ongoing residency? There you go!
A video package details the Texas native’s life story. He started ventriloquism at 10 years old. Terry claims it took his run on AGT for people to finally take him seriously. He was performing at county fairs and elementary schools. Forty-two at the time of his audition makes him the ultimate late bloomer. Notable: Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and David Hasselhoff were the judges back then. Jerry Springer hosted!
Simon claims he wouldn’t do AGT: All Stars without Terry Fator Competing
On stage, Terry brought out his puppet Winston to sing “The Prayer” in Italian. Next, an Elton John puppet joined in to sing a duet of “Rocket Man,” Dua Lipa style. As a ventriloquist, Terry is very good at what he does. What’s more, before him, ventriloquism was relegated to ancient clips of now-dead ventriloquists on the Ed Sullivan Show. He revived a dying variety genre that can trace its popularity back to vaudeville.
Howie Mandel believes it’s not a fluke that Terry won AGT and calls his return to the show a “dream come true” for the entire panel. Heidi Klum calls him the OG of ventriloquism. Simon claims that he gave NBC only one condition to make All Stars–that he’d only do it if Terry competed (!!!). That sounds like hyperbole, but OK. “As a super-fan, I would be voting you through to the final right now,” says Simon.
Terry did not receive a Golden Buzzer. Will the superfans award him their single entry from this week’s show? Tune into NBC Monday Jan. 2 at 8 pm ET/PT to find out!