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The 5 Best Ventriloquists in ‘America’s Got Talent’ History

Julia Delbel

Julia Delbel

NBC

America’s Got Talent is a great place for ventriloquists to get discovered and make it big. No other show on American television truly provides a place to showcase this particular skill, so let’s take a look back at some of the best ventriloquists we’ve seen on the show over the years!


Unlike our magic list, we’re only including five acts for this category instead of 10. While the ventriloquy category has the second-highest number of AGT winners of any talent (only behind singers, though some have incorporated both skills into their performances) not many ventriloquists have made it far on the show besides said champions. So the select few that have gone the distance on past seasons needed to really stand out in order to impress the judges and the voting public.

Kevin Johnson

Kevin was the very first ventriloquist to make it far on AGT, finishing in the semi-finals back in Season 1. He delivered lots of laughs with the help of his bird puppet friends, Matilda and Clyde.


Terry Fator

As the Season 2 champion, Terry wasn’t only the first ventriloquist to win AGT, he was also the first to incorporate singing into his act. And for a long time, Terry was known as the winner with the most mainstream success, having held his Vegas residency for years now. His signature puppet, Winston the Impersonating Turtle, allows him to show off his wide range of vocal abilities.

Todd Oliver

Todd is best known for being the only ventriloquist on AGT to incorporate a live animal into his act. He and his dog, Irving, were initially eliminated in the semi-finals of Season 7, but later made it back into the competition via the Wildcard show only to be eliminated again in the semi-finals.

Paul Zerdin

Unlike the other two ventriloquists who’ve won AGT, Paul isn’t a singer. However, he showed impressive range in his ventriloquy abilities during his time on the show in other ways, including improvisation and performing multiple sounds and voices at once. He was also the first ventriloquist to get the coveted Golden Buzzer, which he received from guest judge Marlon Wayans during the Season 10 Judge Cuts.


Darci Lynne Farmer

Darci became the first female ventriloquist in AGT history to make the live shows when Mel B pushed the Golden Buzzer for her in the Season 12 auditions. She went on to win the season and place second on America’s Got Talent: The Champions, and even star in her own NBC Christmas special. Darci has been touring around the United States with her act ever since her big win and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

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About the Author

Julia Delbel
Julia is a writer at Talent Recap and hails from the Greater Toronto Area. She is currently pursuing a degree in Media Studies. When not sharing her latest reality TV hot takes she's likely enjoying a game night with friends, collecting enamel pins, or spending time with her cat, Zoey.

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