As Judge Cuts start on AGT, the show will be adding guest judges to the panel. Each of them will have the opportunity to press the Golden Buzzer for one act, sending them straight to the live shows without the other judges’ input.
We’re looking forward to learning who guest judges Brad Paisley, Ellie Kemper, Jay Leno, and Dwyane Wade will choose as their Golden Buzzer acts. In the meantime, let’s look back at some of the most memorable Golden Buzzer moments from guest judges of seasons past. All of these acts made it to the Top 10 or further.
In Season 10, guest judge Marlon Wayans hit the Golden Buzzer for ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, who went on to win the season. Following his performance with a baby puppet, Marlon said, “It made a grown man feel like he was a kid … And I felt joy.”
Piff the Magic Dragon
Also in Season 10, guest judge Neil Patrick Harris hit the Golden Buzzer for this funny magic act. He gave a great performance featuring judge Heidi Klum and his dog Mr. Piffles. “I’m kind of blown away by it,” NPH told Piff before hitting the buzzer for him.
The CraigLewis Band
Yet another Season 10 act to receive the Golden Buzzer and go far. This singing duo earned the honor from Michael Bublé and made it to fifth place in the competition. Following a strong performance of “I’m Goin’ Down,” Michael gave them a standing ovation and told them, “I don’t want to push this button, because I don’t think you need me to push it.” (He still did, of course.)
This athlete-turned-magician wowed guest judge Ne-Yo in Season 11. He showed off his talent for close-up card magic at the judges’ table, and Ne-Yo couldn’t figure out how he did it. He didn’t even need to say anything before hitting the Golden Buzzer. Afterward, he said, “I see the potential. I see what it could be.” Jon finished in third place.
This young contortionist impressed Reba McEntire enough in Season 11 to earn the Golden Buzzer. Considering she shot a flaming arrow with her feet, we’d say she deserved it. “I think actions speak louder than words,” Reba told her before hitting the buzzer.
This young singer with an inspiring story and a powerhouse voice earned the Golden Buzzer from guest judge Chris Hardwick in Season 12. Following her performance of “Girl on Fire,” Chris asked Angelica, “How do those pipes fit in that tiny body?” Angelica finished the competition in second place.
In Season 12, this singer-songwriter impressed guest judge DJ Khaled. After his rap-infused acoustic performance, the judge told him that his lyrics are “real and authentic,” adding, “You’re on your way to be a star.”