Talent Recap

Does ‘America’s Got Talent’ Have a Live Audience this Year?


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Season 16 of America’s Got Talent looks like it will be the most exciting season yet. As the show nears its June 1 premiere date, the question on everyone’s mind is whether or not the show will have its beloved live audience this year.

Is There a Live Audience for ‘America’s Got Talent’ Season 16?

In a recent America’s Got Talent promo, a live audience could be seen sitting behind the judges in certain shots. In other shots, the Pasadena Civic Auditorium is empty with only the judges and the acts up on stage. The mystery of the live audience has been equally fascinating and confusing.

In the promo, a full maskless audience stands behind the judges cheering. The judges are wearing outfits from this season, which we have seen all over social media recently.


This particular shot is more than likely doctored with the help of editing. A shot of a full studio audience from a past season was probably used as the background for footage of the judges from this season to make it seem like the theater is completely full.

In another shot, Simon Cowell goes to hit his Golden Buzzer. If you look closely, there is nobody sitting behind him. Then suddenly as confetti falls down from the ceiling, audience members appear. Again, the audience shot could just be recycled from a past season.

Typically in the past, all of the iconic Golden Buzzer shots feature fans jumping up and down directly behind the judges. This year, we can’t imagine that maskless people will be sitting directly behind the judges due to safety precautions.

This does not mean there is no live audience for the entire season. The theater seats 3,000 people, but due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, we can assume the theater will not be at full capacity. Instead, a live audience at limited capacity is probably what America’s Got Talent is going with this year especially when it comes time for the live shows.

NBC America’s Got Talent/ YouTube

Other Signs Pointing to a Live Limited Audience

Chuck Dukas, the audience warm-up host of America’s Got Talent has also been left in the dark about the audience this year.

“I’m not sure what they are doing,” he said. “I wasn’t needed so I assume if they had people it wasn’t a big crowd. I’ll hopefully be back this summer for live shows.”

His assumptions may actually be true. One fan posted a photo of people lined up outside of the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. However, it has not been confirmed if these are audience goers, part of an act, or staff members. They are all wearing face masks, which leads us to believe that any limited audience members inside of the theater will be wearing face masks as well.

What Have Other Shows Done with Their Live Audiences?

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, talent shows have found new ways to incorporate an audience. This creates lively energy in each of the filming locations but in a safe way. During Season 5 of The Masked Singer to give off the illusion that there is a live audience, the producers pulled clips from past seasons and also use a ton of editing.

On Season 19 of American Idol, the show introduced a Covid-safe live audience set up. All audience members wear face masks and sit in socially distanced pods with members of their households. Each audience member is Covid tested before they are seated in their pods. There are around 50 audience members present per episode on this season of American Idol.

Season 20 of The Voice went the opposite route and did not have a live audience this year. Instead, they offered fans the exclusive opportunity to become members of the virtual audience. The fall season of America’s Got Talent also opted for a virtual audience during the live shows.

During the Season 16 America’s Got Talent premiere, we expect host Terry Crews to address the audience situation prior to the first act hitting the stage. Be sure to tune in on June 1 to find out more!

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Sean Lucas
Sean Lucas
2 years ago

come on  lets get serious get back to what we had, give everone a mask and go on with the  show.

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