“It’s the best of the best,” says host Terry Crews of this America’s Got Talent: All-Stars, a new spinoff premiering January 2 on NBC. Get ready for 60 memorable acts from the U.S. series’ 17 seasons — as well as Britain, the Philippines, Australia, and other international versions — to return with winning on their respective minds.
“The summer edition is all about finding talent you haven’t seen before,” Crews says, adding, “Now all of the Got Talent franchises converge. It’s a big deal, man!”
It’s also a monumental challenge for the winners and finalists — singers, dancers, acrobats, magicians, and comedians among them — as they battle for the All-Star title. During every qualifier, 10 acts face off in hopes of moving forward to the final round. Judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell, with Crews, hold privileges individually and collectively
to award five Golden Buzzers that elevate contestants directly to the finale.
Winning over the judges is only half the battle, however. In the All-Stars competition, the Superfans, a panel of diverse AGT devotees watching virtually from across the U.S., have the opportunity to vote for one additional act per episode, and they also have the ultimate power to choose the eventual winner.
“A lot of times [on the regular show], you could feel people at home booing the TV when Howie or Simon say something,” Crews says. “But what [the judges] say has no bearing on the results this time.”
The competition includes familiar faces like Season 2’s champ, ventriloquist Terry Fator, whose influence, Crews says, is monumental: “This man had a $100 million contract in Las Vegas. He is the epitome of what AGT’s success is all about.” But Crews also notes that winners like Fator should watch out — not only for fellow returning favorites, but for performers from other lands competing for the first time on the U.S. stage. “They’re not here to play,” the gregarious host says. “You see the eye of the tiger in these international acts.”
Some things will never change in the AGT universe.
“I’m proven wrong every time,” Crews says, laughing, about his bids to pick the winners — who sometimes seem like wallflowers at first glance. “There were several that just came out of the woodwork. You can see it. You feel it. The underdogs come to win!”
America’s Got Talent: All-Stars, Series Premiere, Monday, January 2, 8/7c, NBC