‘America’s Got Talent’ Ditches Quarterfinals, Replaces with Qualifiers

Corey Cesare
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Terry Crews, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara on 'America's Got Talent'Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC

America’s Got Talent has decided to implement multiple changes into this season’s formatting. With the return of Judge Deliberations, comes the end of the infamous Quarterfinal round.

America’s Got Talent Gets Rid of Quarterfinals

According to multiple television scheduling sites, America’s Got Talent will air Qualifiers 1 on Tuesday, August 9. The description of the new round’s first episode explains it as 11 performers taking the stage “as judging is turned over to the American viewing audience.”

The Qualifiers round takes place in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, not the Dolby Theatre. If Qualifiers replaces the Quarterfinals entirely, fans should expect to see another finale featuring the Top 10 acts. It seems like America will have the chance to vote for their favorite acts during this round, but only two acts will continue into the finale. This round feels very similar to the Qualifiers round of fellow NBC series, American Song Contest earlier this year.

The first round of the singing competition (featuring one singer from each state and U.S. territory) includes 11 artists America and “the jury” would vote for. America’s vote would bring three artists into the next round, while the jury’s vote brought one act through to the next round. When it comes to the Got Talent franchise, this format is alive on Britain’s Got Talent. On BGT, there are weeks of auditions, a few episodes of semifinals, then the finale. This show’s most recent series featured 10 finalists after five weeks of semifinals, featuring eight acts.

What Does This All Mean?

Fans should expect to see the judges pick their Top 55 contestants at the end of the upcoming Judge Deliberation episode. Since the end of Tuesday night’s episode mentioned voting, we assume there will be a Wildcard category this year. This will probably air exclusively on Peacock again this season.

If America’s Got Talent follows suit to Britain’s Got Talent, the finale will immediately follow each round of the Qualifiers. The AGT finale is set to take place on Tuesday, September 18, so the math adds up. If 11 acts take the America’s Got Talent stage each Tuesday between August 9 and September 6, 10 will remain for the finale. This format leaves the opportunity for 55 acts to advance past the Judge Deliberations round. One downside to this format is that there are only five episodes. While many may be happy because it’s short, there were six Golden Buzzer recipients this season. This means that one episode will have to double up on Golden Buzzer recipients.

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