America’s Got Talent celebrated 15 years Tuesday night (Aug 4) by counting down the 15 most viral videos. Keeping in mind that AGT didn’t upload videos in the first years on the air, every featured video is from the Simon Cowell era, seasons 11-14 (2016-2019).
In between, the show highlighted clips from earlier eras. The late Regis Philbin was the first host, followed by Jerry Springer in season 2. Nick Cannon took over in season 4, but left the show after season 11. Was it just my imagination, ord did the show seem to try it’s best to keep Nick’s presence to a minimum? Currently he hosts the rival competition, The Masked Singer over on FOX. It could be because he quit on bad terms. Heck, Gabrielle Union who sat on the judges panel last season is currently suing NBC and badmouthing them as often as she can. But she got airtime. She was reigning champ, Kodi Lee’s Golden Buzzer. Tyra Banks hosted the show for season 12 and 13. She also helped magician Shin Lim with his viral magic trick.
Check out the Top 15 viral videos below.
15. Special Head – 111 million views – The only act to make the list from before the Simon Cowell era. The shows took place a Radio City Music Hall in New York City to accommodate judge Howard Stern. In season 8, Special Head’s freaky magic act, in which he seemed to be floating in mid air, freaked everyone the eff out.
14. Light Balance – 119 million views – Tyra Banks Golden Buzzer in season 12. This group of hip hop dancers use light technology to tell creative stories. stories. In 2017, the group came in 3rd place.
13. V. Unbeatable – 120 million views – This dance troupe from India finished Top 5 in 2019 (Season 14), and then followed that up with a Champions 2 win earlier this year. The group made up of young people come from impoverished backgrounds. They were favorite to win season 14, but only managed the Top 5. The group made up for the loss by winning Champions.
12. Shin Lim – 121 million views – Shin won season 13 in 2018 AND the first season of Champions in 2019. His close up magic is compelling due to skill and charisma. Heidi Klum is right. He does have great hair.
11. Aaron Crow – 147 million views – Danger act who doesn’t speak. Howie volunteered to have a pineapple chopped off his head. He freaked the audience out as he used hot wax to keep his eyes shut during the dangerous stunt. During the clip, Howie claims his wife was mad that he volunteered for the bit.
10. Tyler Butler-Figueroa – 149 million views – A season 14 and Champions 2 finalist, the 11 year old cancer survivor who played violin was Simon Cowell’s Golden Buzzer. In the clip, Simon says that he became close to his family.
9. Celine Tam – 159 million views – Young Celine competed in 2017 on season 12. Her parents were so obsessed with music, they named her after Celine Dion. And then she
SHOCKED EVERYBODY by singing a Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On.” She was eliminated in the semi-finals.
8. Men with Pans – 231 million views – This season 12 joke act went totally viral because they got TOTALLY NAKED. Except for pans. Simon and Mel B. buzzed them.
7. Tape Face – 242 million views – Season 11’s wonderfully inventive Tape Face was a finalist in 2016, and returned to compete in Champions season 1. Mimes usually suck. But not Tape Face. His creative, weird act is hysterical. So stupid, yet so good.
6. Grace Vanderwaal – 260 million views – 12 year old Grace won season 11 singing her original songs. Simon compares seeing Grace for the first time, to how he felt the first time he saw American Idol season 4 winner Carrie Underwood. Grace was Howie Mandel’s Golden Buzzer.
5. Angelica Hale -296 million views – It was her Judge Cuts performance of “Girl on Fire” that went massively viral. Simon notes that although young, Angelica loved to compete. She was guest judge Chris Hardwick’s Golden Buzzer. At that stage, it guaranteed her a spot in the next round.
4. Courtney Hardwick – 310 million views – This 13 year old was a season 13 and Champions 1 finalist. In her audition, she came off as shy, but suddenly turned into a beast belting out classic rock songs like a maniac. In this case, “Hard to Handle” by Otis Redding. Howie Mandel hit his Golden Buzzer for her. The shy thing might have been a bit of an act for contrast. Eventually, Simon signed her to SYCO.
3. Darci Lynne 350 million views – The winner of season 12, 12 year old Darci captured hearts with her charming ventriloquist’s act. Also, she could have auditioned without the puppet, and still advanced, She’s a good singer! Darci was Mel B’s Golden Buzzer.
2. Zurcaroh – 423 million views – Acrobatic dance group from Brazil earned Tyra Banks’ Golden Buzzer in 2018 and eventually came in 2nd place to Shin Lim. The group is like a more sedate V. Unbeatable. But man, they racked up those views!
1. Kodi Lee – 432 million views – Blind and autistic, he plays piano and sings. His mother says music saved his life. He’s the reigning America’s Got Talent winner, and Gabrielle Union’s Golden Buzzer. His story really seemed to strike a chord with the AGT audience.
America’s Got Talent Acts that Became Famous
BONUS: America’s Got Talent alums feature several acts that went on to great success. Check a few of them out in this clips. Includes: Grace Vanderwaal, Lindsey Stirling, SNL’s Melissa Villasenor (YES she was a contestant in 2011! She did impressions.) Kehlani (She was a member of the kid band Pop Lyfe back in 2011), Jackie Evancho, and dance troupe, Jabbawockeez. Magician’s Mat Franco, Shin Lim and Piff the Magic Dragon have their own Vegas shows. Season 2 winner, ventriloquist has his own theater in Vegas.