America’s Got Talent regular flavor, the main show that airs in the summer, gives a $1 million dollar cash prize to the winner. The catch is that the show pays out the money as an annuity over the course of 40 years.
But does the winner of AGT: All Stars win ANYTHING other than bragging rights?
The AGT: All-Stars champ DOES win a cash prize
It turns out that the AGT off-shoot, airing now on NBC in the weeks before The Voice begins in March, does offer a much smaller payout to its winner. In the ending credits, which go by really really fast, a message states that the winning act “receives $25,000 in addition to announced all-star title.”
Unless I missed it, none of the PR for the AGT: All Stars has mentioned a cash prize. Executive producer and judge Simon Cowell hasn’t mentioned it in interviews. Believing the stakes were low for the show’s winner for a hot minute, I thought the producers might be influencing the outcomes. Especially considering the somewhat janky results so far. For instance, did the “superfans” really vote the Indian hip hop/flute duo Divyansh & Manuraj into second place last week? It’s an international act that has never performed in America before. Weird!
But maybe not so weird considering that a different group of “superfans” votes week by week. Again, according to a disclaimer in the credits, the “voting was conducted and tabulated by an independent third party” and “composition of voting panel [is} based on survey responses and may vary by episode.” The “superfans” also chose the winner during the finale. Apparently, producers–just like when they conduct live voting–hands the mechanics over to an independent outfit.
AGT: All Star results have been weird. Blame the “superfans”
Ahead of AGT: The Champions season 2 which aired in 2020, I went through the process of signing up to be part of the panel (but didn’t go all the way through the process). The big “superfan” map of the US that displays behind host Terry Crews when he announces results implies that the show culls voters from across the country.
The application asked my age and why I wanted to be on the panel. The application also asked what state I resided in, but also the state “where you are originally from/most identify with.” It also stated that “superfans” needed to attend the Los Angeles taping in person. Maybe two years later with better remote technology, that’s changed? But at the time I envisioned the “superfans” as folks who mostly lived in Los Angeles, but grew up somewhere else.
Undoubtedly, if fans at home were voting every week, the outcomes would be more consistent. Fans can gripe about not having the opportunity to vote–like we did for So You Think You Can Dance last summer. But it really comes down to cost. It’s less expensive to tape a show months ahead, in it’s entirety, rather than holding live fan votes.
Speaking of So You Think You Can Dance: The studio audience, seated by On Camera Audiences, voted each week to determine who advanced to the next week and ultimately won the show.
Maybe NBC got stingy when it came to Sofia Vergara
America’s Got Talent: All Stars gives former contestants and international Got Talent stars a chance to compete. Sometimes they are looking for redemption, an opportunity to promote themselves, or to perform for a US audience. Veteran judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell sit on the panel. But no Sofia Vergara, who judges the summer edition.
There are a ton of click bait articles on the internet with titles like “Here’s why Sofia Vergara is not on AGT: All-Stars” and then go on to pad the article with non-answers. Actually, so far, nobody has addressed the issue. Not the producers, and not Sofia herself.
While the popular actress may have had other things to do, the reason could very well be budgetary. Maybe NBC didn’t want to pay a fourth judge, especially an expensive one. Sofia joined AGT shortly after the wildly popular ABC comedy Modern Family ended its run. Her contract is probably lucrative. I doubt that she comes cheap.
America’s Got Talent: All Stars airs on NBC Mondays at 8 pm.