Meet Drone Group Verge Aero, Simon Cowell’s ‘AGT: Extreme’ Golden Buzzer

Corey Cesare
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Simon cowell golden buzzer verge aeroEliza Morse/NBC

Simon Cowell gave the first Golden Buzzer of AGT: Extreme to none other than drone group, Verge Aero. Verge Aero lit up the sky with an impressive 160 drone choreographed performance. While this act was definitely different than others in the episode, the group put on a stunning performance.


The founders of Verge Aero are Chris Franzwa, Anthony Merlino, Tony Samaritano, and Nils Thorjussen. The team has spent the past several years developing the technology behind their act. Verge Aero has performed in events like President-Elect Joe Biden’s victory celebration and the Electric Daisy Carnival. They are the leading technology provider for professional drone shows.

Verge Aero’s AGT: Extreme Act is More Than Just Flying Drones

On top of putting on shows, this group also develops and manufactures everything essential for their shows. While this group’s act is amazing to see, it’s also amazing to hear what went into its creation. The group was inspired from the other beautiful drone work that’s been done, but their show differs because they created their own software.

Before Verge Aero, Chris, Tony, and Anthony graduated from Rowan University with undergraduate degrees in electrical and computer engineering. On AGT: Extreme, they shared that they met within the program. The three would spend their spare time at college creating code for the drones. Nils has a background in making entertainment technologies, so together they decided to create the company. Their funds currently come out of pocket.


Since 2017, the team has worked to create a comprehensive control system with straightforward programming interface, effects generation algorithms, full 3D visualization, and automatic flight path calculation. Before creating their software, the group found inspiration from performances created by drones. Even though this other performances were amazing, they knew there’s more to be accomplished. Their AGT: Extreme act is basically high-tech fireworks with programming that controls individual drone actions.

Outside of Chris, Tony, Nils, and Anthony, Verge Aero has shared other members of their crew. Members of the crew are chief pilot Owen Schneider, warehouse manager Tim, and social media coordinator Kat Samaritano. I hope in the upcoming weeks fans will be able to see more behind the scenes including how they create the performances.

While this isn’t the type of extreme where lives are at risk, it’s extreme because of the large scale of it. Before their audition, Verge Aero shared that their show is the size of thirty story skyscrapers. This is definitely not an act that just anyone can do.


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