Should the ‘Got Talent’ Shows Allow Repeat Contestants?

Corey Cesare
Julia Delbel
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In recent years, fans have noticed that some contestants aren’t brand new to the Got Talent franchise when taking to the stage for the “first time.” This phenomenon leaves fans wondering the fairness behind contestants repeatedly taking their talents from one show to another.


Although I’m sure this has happened since the founding of major Got Talent shows, this controversy took the world by storm in season 13 of America’s Got Talent with The Sacred Riana. The Sacred Riana is a terrifying horror based magician. Fans of the series thought her talent was so unique that they naturally looked into her. To their surprise, they found that she had gone viral for competing on Asia’s Got Talent.

This opened up the floodgates for fans to perform “background checks” on other AGT contestants. Fans at this time were curious to see if any other contestants had achieved similar levels of success. They learned that contestants like the season runner up, Zurcaroh and semi finalist Aaron Crow, had competed in Britain’s Got Talent prior. Fans felt confused, angery, and even betrayed, feeling as if they’d been lied to in a way.

There’s a lot to go into this, but in reality, it’s not as showstopping as some may think. When you look into it, most of the performers that have been on multiple shows are niche variety acts. For many of these “repeated” acts might only have the opportunity to work at a carnival outside of the Got Talent universe. Instead, they take to the popular stage for a chance at a Las Vegas show.


Variety Acts Need Got Talent Shows to Gain Exposure

Talents like singing and dancing have enough widespread appeal to shine outside of reality television. Performers like magicians and daredevils differ from singers and dancers because they have more limited career options. Shows in the Got Talent franchise are one of the few ways that variety acts can gain worldwide exposure. Going from one Got Talent show to another gains more exposure in different countries. Everytime they compete, they’re reaching a completely different audience. America’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent are by far the biggest stages in the world, so it’s no surprise that acts come from smaller stages.

A recent act that has competed on multiple Got Talent shows is Deadly Games. Deadly Games was a knife throwing act featuring Anna and Alfredo Silva. They originally appeared on America’s Got Talent on Season 11 in 2016. After that season, Deadly Games competed in France’s Got Talent and later America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Even though the duo is no longer features Anna Silva, Alfredo has continued Deadly Games with his fiancé Aleksandra Kiedrowicz. The new Deadly Games went on to show off their knife throwing talent in World’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions, and Slovakia’s Got Talent.

Deadly Games is the perfect example of a variety act who has performed across a slew of Got Talent shows. On top of their time on these shows, they’ve also gained opportunities to perform in countries such as Australia, Dubai, and more. While some may think it’s unfair for the duo to travel the world competing in shows, Deadly Games is proof that this career tactic works.


The Solution: “The Champions” Seasons

Going back to The Sacred Riana, I understand a lot of the backlash towards her because she was a previous Got Talent winner. The participation of former winners is much less common, but we still see it. To this day, many fans question why The Sacred Riana didn’t wait a year to audition for AGT: The Champions.

I think it’s valid for variety acts to travel and share their skills, but it becomes different if they’ve won the previously. I think fans would be happier with the format, if it were explained that certain acts won their competition prior to shows like AGT or BGT.

In general, I think AGT/BGT: The Champions is the best format to combat this criticism. The Champions spin offs provide a bigger stage for already established Got Talent acts. I’m not suggesting all acts that come from a previous show should only compete on this spin offs. Instead, I’m suggesting that winners should be priority for The Champions.

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