Ever wished you could see America’s Got Talent stars like Shin Lim and Darci Lynne before they were famous? Now that we’ve seen the best of the best compete on AGT: The Champions, it’s the perfect time to look back on these champs’ early days.
Lucky for you, we found videos of Shin, Darci, and several other AGT winners performing before they auditioned for the show. After all, most of them spent years honing their talents before they appeared on that stage.
1. Shin Lim
Before he won America’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent: The Champions, sleight-of-hand magician Shin Lim toured China with his 52 Shades of Red routine. You may have also seen him on Penn & Teller: Fool Us.
2. Darci Lynne Farmer
Young ventriloquist Darci Lynne is only 14, but she’s already a seasoned performer. In the above video, she competes in Edmond’s Got Talent, in her home state of Oklahoma. She and her puppet Katie have some serious yodeling skills.
3. Grace VanderWaal
In 2015, Grace and her ukulele took to YouTube before her appearance on America’s Got Talent. At just 11 years old, she gave a charming performance of “Frosty the Snowman.” She would later perform the same song for an America’s Got Talent holiday special.
4. Paul Zerdin
In 2002, Zerdin brought his clever ventriloquism act to the Royal Variety Performance in Britain. You might recognize his puppet Sam from performances in AGT. They’ve been performing together for a long time.
5. Mat Franco
Before he became the first magician to win AGT, Mat Franco toured college campuses with his entertaining magic act. Appropriately, this included a magic trick using a package of college students’ favorite food — ramen noodles.
6. Kenichi Ebina
This talented Japanese performer has been showing off his robotic “dance-ish” moves for years. In the above clip, he performs at the San Francisco HipHop DanceFest in 2005. You’ll likely recognize some elements from his AGT appearances.
7. Michael Grimm
Just days before this talented singer went off to compete in America’s Got Talent, he performed “You Don’t Know Me” with McKenna Medley for
“Bill Medley Live in Concert at the Starlite Theatre.” As you can see, he wore his signature fedora.
8. Terry Fator
Before winning America’s Got Talent and performing in Las Vegas, Terry showed off his ventriloquism and impersonations as a keynote speaker for events. In the montage above, he impersonates everyone from Dean Martin to Michael Jackson.
9. Bianca Ryan
Bianca Ryan was just 11 years old when she won the first season of America’s Got Talent. Just months before she first appeared on the show, she displayed her amazing voice in a performance of the national anthem for a New York Rangers game.