America’s Got Talent 2020 Preview: How Will the Live Shows Work?

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Show 1" Episode 1511 -- Pictured: Simon and Maria -- (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)
Pictured: Simon and Maria — (Photo by: Chris Haston/NBC)

Although Simon Cowell is out with a broken back after a 5 hour surgery over the weekend the show must go on!

Unfortunately, executive producer and judge Simon will sit out at least the first week of live shows (AGT finale is set for Wed. Sept. 23). Making the situation even more complicated–in order to continue production, NBC must follow an extensive list of COVID-19 safety protocols.

How will AGT proceed with Covid-friendly live shows?  

According to USA Today, judges Simon, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara; host Terry Crews and talent will shoot outdoors.

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On the AGT set, the addition of masks, tests, temperature checks, work pods and even specific bathroom assignments – for contact tracing, if necessary – make it “the safest place in the world, but it feels otherworldly,” Howie told USA Today. Medical experts, or “Covid Counselors” as Howie called them will also be on set to work with cast and crew.

America’s Got Talent live shows typically take place in Hollywood’s Dolby theater. But instead, production is moving to nearby Universal Studios Hollywood where acts will perform on soundstage, in the theme park and at the famed backlot, USA Today reveals.

AGT Acts will perform all over the Universal lot and in remote locations

  • Kid ballroom dancers, Simon & Maria will perform in Mel’s Diner
  • Pig act, Pork Chop Revue will perform on Western Street
  • Daredevils Bello & Annaliese Nock will do their “double wheel of death on fire” on Universal’s New York Street. It’s an act that wouldn’t fit in the theater or studio in any case.
  • Sister singing duo Double Dragon will move from Western Street to Mexican Street
  • Some acts, like ukulele player Feng-E were taped in foreign countries due to COVID travel restrictions. The young musician will perform on a “dazzling” stage in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • San Diego’s Voices of Our City Choir will perform remotely due to safety concerns.
  • Crews from India, Germany and Australia “Got Talent” shows will film some acts that can’t make it to Universal.

The USA Today piece notes that Quentin Tarantino shot his movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on Western Street. Also, the show will add a “virtual audience,” similar to the NBA, that features audio and video of fans watching live feeds from their homes.

Acts performing on Tuesday include

Daredevils Bello & Annaliese Nock, Singer Archie Williams; sword swallower Brett Loudermilk; sister singing duo Double Dragon; Ukulele player, Feng E, contortionist dancer FrenchieBabyy; comedian Michael Yo; pig act Pork Chop Revue; young singer and Sofia’s Golden Buzzer Roberta Battaglia; singer Shaquira McGrath; kid ballroom dancers Simon & Maria.

The AGT  Top 44 will become a Top 22

Over the four week Quarterfinal round, 44 acts will be whittled down to 20 based on viewer votes. Plus two judges’ wildcard picks will fill out the 22-act Semifinal field.

America’s Got Talent live shows begin on Tues Aug 11 and Wed Aug 12 at 8 pm ET/PT on NBC.

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Show 1" Episode 1511 -- Pictured in this screen grab: Feng E -- (Photo by: NBC)
Pictured in this screen grab: Feng E — (Photo by: NBC)

About mj santilli 34834 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!