"America's Got Talent" will return this summer with some tweaks. At NBCUniversal's summer press session in Pasadena on Tuesday, April 8, producers revealed the format changes in the upcoming season 9.
Apparently taking a page out of "The Voice" and "American Idol", "AGT" will introduce its own version of the save. "Every judge has the opportunity to save someone" by using the golden buzzer, Heidi Klum said. She further explained, "So if someone gets three Xs and you believe in that person enough, you can hit the Golden Buzzer."
The golden buzzer can only be used once during the entirety of the season, and Klum's fellow judge Howie Mandel revealed that he was the first to use it. "I don't know if I squandered my opportunity," he said.
The other twist is a boot camp. In this final round of auditions that will take place May 14-17, contestants will perform for the first time in front of a live audience in New York. 48 acts will be chosen to advance to the live performance shows in this round. "When there's an audience, they rise to the occasion," Mandel teased how the boot camp would bring difference.
The judges additionally insisted that talent, not the background story, is the most determining factor of a contestant's fate on the show. "I don't care how sad or deep the background story is if the act is bad," Klum stressed, and Melanie Brown added, "For me, its about the whole package. I want to like somebody as well. It has to be both. The act has to be good and they have to be likable, because America is voting for them."
The auditions this year are held in New York's Theater at the Madison Square Garden, Newark's New Jersey Performing Arts Center and Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre. Klum revealed during the audition, a magician stole her bra.
"There was a magician, and one minute I was wearing a bra, and then next minute he was holding my bra and I have no idea how he did that!" she shared. She let Mandel confirm it, saying, "He wanted to know if it was really missing and he checked and it was gone."
Mandel chimed in, "That was my favorite morning so far on the show. The show benefited, I benefited and the act benefited." Klum admitted that she "was a little droopy from then on."
"AGT" season 9 debuts May 27 at 8 P.M. on NBC. Klum, Mandel, Brown and Howard Stern return as the judges, while Nick Cannon still tackles the hosting duty.
The "Got Talent" reality show franchise created by Simon Cowell recently landed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful reality TV format in the world. The franchise currently has the highest number of adaptations with a total of 59 different versions in 58 countries around the world.