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Could THIS Be Why So Many Kids Get The Golden Buzzer on ‘AGT’?

Julia Delbel

Julia Delbel

agt golden buzzer jay leno emanne beashaNBC

On This week’s episode of AGT we saw guest judge Jay Leno give out the final Golden Buzzer to Emmane Beasha. Emmane is a fantastic opera singer, but what makes her stand out even more is her age; she’s only 10 years old. And this age factor – someone so young being so talented – seems to be an increasingly big factor in Golden Buzzer choices as the seasons progress… So let’s take a look at the history of AGT kids and the Golden Buzzer.


‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer Acts In 2019

Of the nine Golden Buzzers this season, six have gone to child performers: solo singers Luke Islam, Sophie Pecora, and Emma Beasha, violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa, dance group Light Balance Kids, and the Detroit Youth Choir. And the other dance act to get a Golden Buzzer, V Unbeatable, prominently features the kids in the group in their routines.

This is a new record for AGT: no other season of the show saw this many people under the age of 18 receive a Golden Buzzer. In fact, when the Golden Buzzer was first added to the show, this wasn’t a very common occurrence at all. However, it has become more and more common for kids to get one as the seasons have progressed.

Arielle Baril: The First kid to get the ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer

The History Of The Golden Buzzer On ‘AGT’

Season 9 was the first season to feature the Golden Buzzer, but it only had the power to advance an act from auditions to “Vegas Week” (a precursor to Judge Cuts) and Season 10 was the first time it could send an act straight to the live shows. Only one child received a Golden Buzzer over the span of these two seasons, 11-year-old opera singer Arielle Baril, who went on to finish in the semi-finals.


‘AGT’ Kids Golden Buzzer’s Season 11

Season 11 saw a lot of contestants on the younger side get the Golden Buzzer. Four teenagers – Laura Bretan, Calysta Bevier, Jayna Brown, and Sofie Dossi – all got one, and 12-year-old singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal‘s led to her eventual victory at the end of the season and post-show career that is still one of the most prominent in AGT history. Simon Cowell famously predicted that Grace will be the next Taylor Swift.

What happened to Simon Cowell’s PREDICTION about Grace VanderWaal? Is she now really becoming the “next Taylor Swift”? See the story here

Sofie Dossi, the teen contortionist, also made a pretty big name for herself on YouTube, with over 4 million subscribers at the time of this publishing.


Laura Bretan: ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer

That same season AGT saw a big spike in popularity and ratings, especially Grace VanderWaal’s audition song “I Don’t Know My Name” which went viral globally.

Sofie Dossi: ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer

‘AGT’ Kids Golden Buzzer’s Season 12

After the success of child Golden Buzzers in season 11, we saw it rise even further in Season 12. Five more youth acts got one, including the season’s top two finishers, Darci Lynne and Angelica Hale.

Darci Lynne: ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer and winner of season 12

It’s worth noting that these two have also done pretty well for themselves since their time on the show, with Darci having toured the country for nearly two years and Angelica working on various other projects including a feature film (she was also the first act to get a second Golden Buzzer on AGT when she competed on The Champions!)

Angelica Hale: ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer and season 12 runner-up

‘AGT’ Kids Golden Buzzer’s Season 13

Season 13 didn’t quite manage to reach that height of kid Golden Buzzer fever, but there were still a couple standouts among the five acts featuring under-18’s. Acrobatic group Zurcaroh mostly consisted of adults but prominently featured a couple young kids as “flyers” (AKA those being thrown around and doing a lot of stunts and tumbling). Then there was Courtney Hadwin, who even though she didn’t place as high as most people expected, it can’t be denied that the 13-year-old singer was one of the breakout viral stars of the season. Her success ultimatley led to her current contract with Simon Cowell.

Courtney Hadwin: ‘AGT’ Golden Buzzer

So Why So Many Kids Golden Buzzer’s On ‘AGT’?

So what’s the big draw for so many judges to use their Golden Buzzers on kids? Besides the wow factor of seeing someone very young have the ability to put on a top-notch performance better than most adults could, it’s clear that AGT has become a prime place on TV for kids to become breakout stars, and what judge wouldn’t want the chance to be able to take credit for being the one to “discover” them?

Who is your all-time favorite child act to get a Golden Buzzer? Or is there a kid who didn’t get one that you thought deserved it? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Julia Delbel

Julia is a writer at Talent Recap and hails from the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies. When not sharing her latest reality TV hot takes she's likely enjoying a game night with friends, collecting enamel pins, or spending time with her cat, Zoey.

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