Often, the America’s Got Talent runners-up are just as memorable as the winners, if not more so. As we’ve witnessed on shows like American Idol, acts who missed out on the top prize frequently go on to have flourishing careers.
We’ve already told you where the AGT winners are now. If you’re wondering what’s become of their runners-up, look no further. Read on to find out what every second-place finisher since Season 1 has been up to after the competition.
1. All That!
This clogging group came in either second or third place in Season 1 of AGT (the show didn’t specify). The group later returned to the show for Season 7, where they were eliminated in the Quarterfinals, returned for the Wild Card Show, and were eliminated again in the Semifinals. More recently, they appeared under the name NXT LVL on the reality show World of Dance.
2. The Millers
Musical brothers Cole and LD Miller were the other act to come in either second or third place in Season 1, losing to winner Bianca Ryan. Together with their brother Clayton and their father Larry, they make up the blues act Clayton Miller Band. Younger brother LD has also performed solo. See his music video performing the song “Balloons” above.
3. Cas Haley
This singer came in second place to Terry Fator in Season 2. Cas has continued performing since his appearance on the show, and is releasing his fifth album, Lessons & Blessings, in June. It was co-written by his wife Cassy, who battled breast cancer last year. They live with their kids on a farm in Texas.
4. Eli Mattson
This singer finished Season 3 in second place, behind the late opera singer Neal E. Boyd. Eli has since released five studio albums, and made appearances at AGT winner Terry Fator’s Las Vegas show. He told local news last year that he got sober in 2012, but has stayed off the stage in recent years due to back problems and PTSD.
5. Bárbara Padilla
This Mexican-American opera singer lost Season 4 to singer Kevin Skinner. She has since released two albums and continues to perform concerts and conferences. She also continues to speak about her experience surviving Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
6. Jackie Evancho
This singer was just 10 years old when she finished Season 5 in second place, losing to Michael Grimm. She returned for AGT: The Champions earlier this year, singing “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. Now 19, Jackie has released eight studio albums. She has also been outspoken in her support of her sister Juliet, who is a transgender activist.
This shadow-based dance group came in second place in Season 6 against winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. They returned to AGT in Season 11 to perform with singing group Linkin’ Bridge, and later appeared on the show’s Christmas special. You can check the group’s website for information about upcoming performances.
8. Tom Cotter
This stand-up comedian came in second place to Olate Dogs in Season 7. Tom has continued to perform at comedy clubs and festivals, and even appeared on an episode of The Good Wife. He’s published a book called Bad Dad: A Guide to Pitiful Parenting, and returned for AGT: The Champions, where Simon Cowell buzzed his act.
9. Taylor Williamson
This stand-up comedian was the runner-up in Season 8, losing to Kenichi Ebina. Taylor has since released a comedy album and stand-up special, and is currently on tour. He returned for AGT: The Champions earlier this year.
10. Emily West
This singer was runner-up to magician Mat Franco in Season 9. Since the show, she released an album called All For You, as well as music videos for songs such as “Symphonies.” Recently, she has performed with the Whiskey Wolves of the West, and is currently on tour.
11. Drew Lynch
This stand-up comedian with a stutter was the Season 10 runner-up, losing to ventriloquist Paul Zerdin. Drew has over 1 million subscribers on YouTube, where he regularly posts videos, many featuring his service dog Stella. He returned for AGT: The Champions this year, and is currently on tour.
12. The Clairvoyants
This mentalist act finished as runners-up in Season 11, losing to Grace VanderWaal. The duo (Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass) is currently on tour in North America, and recently returned for AGT: The Champions.
13. Angelica Hale
This singer came in second place to Darci Lynne Farmer in Season 12. She has since performed at sporting events and parades, and has also ventured into acting. Angelica returned for AGT: The Champions, where she received the Golden Buzzer for a second time and made it to the finals. Recently, she performed with World’s Best favorites the TNT Boys.
This acrobatic group came in second place to magician Shin Lim in Season 13. In April, they performed at the opening ceremony for the African Cup of Nations soccer competition. You can keep up to date with them on their website.