Meet Terry Fator, the Winning Ventriloquist Returning for ‘AGT: All-Stars’
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In 2007, Terry Fator became the first ventriloquist to win America’s Got Talent. The star competed in Season 2, performing with his singing puppets and impersonating iconic voices. Now he’s returning to the AGT stage to compete in All-Stars.
Terry Fator Won Season 2 of America’s Got Talent
Fator first got interested in ventriloquism when he was 10 years old. Before he tried out for America’s Got Talent Season 2, he considered pursuing a different career because he wasn’t finding success with his act. However, his family encouraged him not to give up.
The ventriloquist started incorporating impersonations into his routine, which led to greater success. He began performing at corporate functions for companies like General Motors and AT&T, and he even opened for stars such as Reba McEntire and Garth Brooks.
In 2007, Fator auditioned for AGT with one of his puppets, Emma Taylor. He impersonated Etta James singing “At Last,” earning him three “yes” votes from the judges to move on. Throughout the rest of the season, Fator impersonated Tony Bennett, Kermit the Frog, Louis Armstrong, Garth Brooks, and more.
Fator made it all the way to the finale, where he was named the winner of the show, earning the $1 million prize and becoming the first of three ventriloquists to come in first place in the competition. (The other two are Paul Zerdin in Season 10 and Darci Lynne Farmer in Season 12.)
Where Has Fator Been Since Winning the Show?
In 2007, Fator signed a $1.5 million contract with the Las Vegas Hilton. The next year, he signed a five-year, $100 million contract to perform nightly at The Mirage in Las Vegas. The venue was even renamed the Terry Fator Theatre. His residency lasted 11 years, ending in 2020.
Since then, Fator has been performing a new show called Who’s the Dummy Now? at the New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Who’s the Dummy Now? is also the title of Fator’s autobiography, which was published in 2009.
Fator has appeared several times as a guest performer on AGT over the years. Most recently, he took the stage earlier this year with Season 12 winner Darci Lynne Farmer and Season 17 finalist Celia Muñoz during the season finale.
Now, Fator is returning to the show once again to compete in AGT: All-Stars. He’s one of four AGT winners competing in the spin-off, in addition to Dustin Tavella, Brandon Leake, and Kodi Lee. Tune in to the premiere on Monday, January 2, at 8/7c on NBC.