Talent Recap

Are the Judge Cuts Returning to ‘America’s Got Talent’ This Season?

Simon Cowell on the 'America's Got Talent' red carpet(Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)

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America’s Got Talent Season 17 kicked off last week and some fans are wondering if the show will bring back the Judge Cuts round between the auditions and live shows. For the past two seasons, this round has looked a little different.

Will the America’s Got Talent Judge Cuts Be Back?

As shared in an NBC press release earlier this year, the America’s Got Talent Season 17 live shows will begin on Tuesday, August 9, with results airing the next day. Since the series premiered in the beginning of June, a fan on Reddit pointed out that there’s plenty of time for this round. Otherwise, the series would air 10 weeks of auditions, which is very unlikely.

Last year, the show took a few weeks off to make room for Olympics coverage. However, those circumstances don’t apply this year. The Futon Critic lists episodes airing every Tuesday night from now until the live shows begin.

It certainly seems unlikely that AGT would air ten weeks of auditions. Last season, there were eight audition episodes, and before that, Season 15 only had seven. In past years, the show aired six audition episodes and four Judge Cuts episodes. This format could fit with this year’s schedule, however, no guest judges have been announced.

On June 6, America’s Got Talent confirmed that this round will return to the series. At the time they did not specify what the format will look like.

“In order to make it to the live shows, Contestants must proceed past the auditions and Judges’ Cuts rounds,” they wrote in a statement.

For those who don’t know, Judge Cuts is typically a long process since the AGT stage sees a lot of contestants. This round typically sees the 70-80 (dependent on the season) acts audition all over again. It used to last around four weeks in the middle of the season.



The Round First Changed in Season 15

America’s Got Talent used to air four episodes of Judge Cuts, each with a different guest judge. The acts who made it through the auditions would perform again and the judges would decide who should move on to the Quarterfinals. This formatting changed in Season 15, when the Judge Cuts aired in a single episode. The judges sent 34 acts through without seeing another performance, while the five Golden Buzzer acts went through automatically. The Judge Cut episode featured 10 acts performing for five spots in the Quarterfinals.

Then in Season 16, the Judge Cuts were eliminated entirely. Instead, the judges deliberated over which acts should be sent to the live shows during the final episode of auditions. This new format was unpopular among fans due to the lack of transparency. Even though fans dislike this format, it could return since Simon Cowell acknowledged, that he prefers a shortened round between auditions and live shows. His 2021 statement lead many to believe that the Judge Cuts are completely dead.

We’ll have to wait and see what the show has in store, and if the Judge Cuts (or something similar) will indeed return this season. Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see this round back in the competition.

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1 year ago

Thank goodness. Hated the lack of this in last few years!

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