As we are getting deeper into season 15 of America’s Got Talent, we couldn’t help but wonder about what all of the winners of the show have been up to. Of course, when you win ‘AGT’ you get a whopping $1 million prize but it doesn’t always mean that the winner will go on to have a ton of success in some cases. Let’s take a deep dive and find out what these champions have been doing since winning their seasons.
Season 1 Winner Bianca Ryan
Bianca Ryan was just 11 years old when she captivated the audience with her amazing singing voice on season one of America’s Got Talent. All of her performances went viral as people fell in love with her adorable personality and pure talent. Right after her ‘AGT’ win, she was thrust straight into the music world where she signed a five record deal with Syco, a part of Columbia Records. She was the first artist ever to sign with Syco, Simon Cowell’s label. Bianca released a self-titled album right away that debuted at Number 57 on the Billboard charts. She also put out a Christmas EP and toured all over the United States. She started her own record label, Bianca Ryan Records
LLC and sang in the 2017 Broadway production “Home For the Holidays.”
In 2018, she launched her own lipstick collection called Ciao Bianca. Her career definitely suffered a bit after she revealed she had a paralyzed vocal chord and had to go through several surgeries that left her out of the public eye for a while. She spoke about this during her time on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Bianca just released her cover of the song “Fast Car” on Spotify and you should go check it out. She also hosts her own ‘AGT’ recap show with special guests.
Season 2 Winner Terry Fator
Terry Fator was the first-ever ventriloquist to win America’s Got Talent and is arguably one of the most successful winners. He is a huge name on the Las Vegas strip after initially signing a deal to perform at The Mirage under a five-year $100 million dollar contract. People loved his show so much that he has been performing there for more than 10 years after extending his contract. In 2018 Terry was ranked seventh on Forbes‘ list of highest-paid comedians, making $18 million.
He became such a household name that the theater in Las Vegas that he performs at was renamed the Terry Fator Theatre. We have seen him so many times on ‘AGT’ results shows and he always posts hilarious videos on Instagram. He has constantly ranked on Forbes list of highest-earning comedians after Jerry Seinfeld and Kevin Hart each year so it definitely looks like he is doing something right. Terry also continues to perform at venues all over the United States for his loyal fans.
Season 3 Winner Neal E. Boyd
Neal E. Boyd captivated audiences everywhere when he shared his unique voice on America’s Got Talent and was crowned the winner of season three. He really showed a whole new side to the world of opera singing and went on to perform in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. He was signed to Decca Records and released the album My American Dream which debuted at number three on the Top Classical Albums Chart. Neal also performed on several talk shows and went on to headline a second show in Vegas with other America’s Got Talent performers. He even ran for office in Missouri because he was always heavily involved in his community. In what is the most tragic ‘AGT’ winner story, Neal sadly passed away in June 2018 at the age of 42, due to heart and kidney failure. On an episode of ‘AGT: The Champion’s, Britain’s Got Talent winner Paul Potts
dedicated a performance to Neal which was very touching.
Season 4 Winner Kevin Skinner
Kevin Skinner really did tap into the country loving fanbase when he won season four of America’s Got Talent. After performing in Vegas, he released two albums in 2010 and 2011. He also made appearances on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and The Ellen Show. But, he really has flown under the radar over the past few years since his win. In 2014, he was reported missing and was found after a few days. He was also going through a rough patch after splitting from his wife and battled depression. But the thing about ‘AGT’ is that people love comeback stories so maybe we will see Kevin on ‘AGT: The Champions’ in the near future.
Season 5 Winner Michael Grimm
Michael Grimm really impressed judge Sharon Osbourne on season five on America’s Got Talent. He even had the support of her rockstar husband Ozzy before he went on to win the season with his stunning singer/songwriter abilities. Michael had a super memorable proposal to his girlfriend The Ellen Show right after his win. Michael went on to ink a deal with Epic Records and put out his first album in 2011. He also released the 2015 title Grimm most recently along with other original music. His big moment was definitely opening up for Stevie Nicks on tour in 2011. He appeared on ‘AGT: The Champion’s where he competed to win with his epic comeback story but did not make it to the next round. Michael still continues to play gigs across the United States and highlights the achievements of other great artists on his Instagram.
Season 6 Winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. wowed everyone with his jazz singing and frank Sinatra style voice that led him to win season six of America’s Got Talent. He went on to sign with Sony Records and Columbia Records to put out three albums. His debut album called “That’s Life hit #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart so he definitely is a big deal in the jazz world. His most recent album “Landau” was released in 2016 and he has gone on to perform on a ton of talk shows after headlining in Vegas. More recently, he has turned to acting including an appearance in the 2018 film Choices.
Season 7 Winner Olate Dogs
Season seven saw the first animal act win America’s Got Talent with the lovable dog act, Olate Dogs. This father and son duo really did teach their dogs some incredible tricks that stole the hearts of the voters. They of course went on to headline their show in Vegas and AGT‘s All-Star Tour. They also released a Christmas album in 2013
that included the dogs literally singing or barking some tunes which was actually pretty hilarious. Who doesn’t love puppies?
In 2016, they performed on AGT‘s Holiday Spectacular. They continue to tour performing at NBA halftime shows and raise awareness about pet adoption and added more members of their family and more dogs to their act. It is worth mentioning that in 2014 Olate Dogs made their movie debut by starring in “Le Sauvetage.” So yeah, these dogs have more successful careers than most humans ever will.
Season 8 Winner Kenichi Ebina
Kenichi Ebina was the first non-American to win the show in season 8. His robotic style of dance was unlike anything we had ever seen before and he came all the way from Japan to perform on the ‘AGT’ stage. He has gone on to choreograph a ton of shows in Japan and has also worked with Disney and PBS Kids. Kenichi also made an appearance on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. He also created his own app called “Dance-ish Me,” and released a book which is truly a remarkable achievement.
Can you believe that the YouTube video of his audition on America’s Got Talent has more than 100 million views making it one of the most viewed auditions of all time? Not to mention he has performed with Cirque du Soleil and several NBA halftime shows. Right now, he is currently hosting his own talent competition featuring acts from all over the world called Like The Best. It featured ‘AGT’ contestants Yumbo Dump.
Season 9 Winner Mat Franco
Mat Franco was the first magician to win America’s Got Talent in Season 9. He even got his own primetime TV special, Mat Franco’s Got Magic, which just goes to show you just how captivating his magic skills are. He is currently headlining his own show, MAGIC REINVENTED NIGHTLY at The LINQ Hotel + Experience in Las Vegas. It was named “Best Show” by Las Vegas Weekly. It was voted “Best Magic Show” twice in the
Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Best of Las Vegas Awards. It really has gotten rave reviews from a number of critics and fans alike. So much so, they renamed the LINQ Theater that he performs at into The Mat Franco Theater in 2017. Just recently in 2020, Caesars Entertainment announced he signed a new deal that included a 5-year extension of his residency show. He also has a YouTube channel and just started making TikToks because the coronavirus pandemic has forced him to postpone most of his recent shows.
Season 10 Winner Paul Zerdin
Paul Zerdin is the second non-American and the second ventriloquist to win season 10 of America’s Got Talent. The Brit took his talents to Las Vegas in a residency at Planet Hollywood with his show called “Mouthing Off.” It only went on for a few months before getting cancelled due to low attendance ratings. He went on to tour the UK with his show “All Mouth” in 2017 before appearing on ‘AGT: The Champions.’ He definitely is not as successful when compared to someone like Terry Fator, but he is pretty hilarious. He did face some controversy after he was accused of stealing material from other comedians in 2015, but that did not stop him from going on to compete on ‘BGT: The Champions.’
Season 11 Winner Grace VanderWaal
Ok now Grace VanderWaal is defintiely one of the most successful winners to come from ‘AGT.’ She was only 12 when she stunned the judges with her original song, so much so that she received the Golden Buzzer from Howie Mandell on season 11. She
went on to release an EP called Perfectly Imperfect, and an album called
Just the Beginning.
It was a huge moment for her in 2018 when she opened for Imagine
Dragons on tour. Along with releasing even more original music, she has gone on to star in the Disney film Stargirl. She also won an MTV Europe Music Award in 2018. And Grace is taking over the fashion world after she modeled at New York Fashion Week for Marc Jacobs. Plus, the entire time she has been in the spotlight, she has maintained her unique quirky style for her 3.5 million Instagram followers. One of her songs even went viral on TikTok so there are definitely big things ahead for her in the future.
Season 12 Winner Darci Lynne Farmer
Darci Lynne Farmer offered a new spin on a classic ventriloquist act that impressed judge Mel B and earned her Golden Buzzer. Darci went on to win season 12 and even launched a national tour called Darci Lynne and Friends Live which expanded to 52 dates taking place between January 2018 and January 2019. It literally sold out so quickly that the dates needed to be extended. Let that sink in. She also hosted a Christmas special on NBC, and has announced a second tour called Fresh Out of the Box. She recently came in second place on America’s Got Talent: The Champions and is truly growing up right in front of our eyes. Will she ditch the puppets and focus on singing in the future?
Season 13 And ‘AGT: The Champions’ Winner Shin Lim
And of course, yet another magician that made it big is Shin Lim who won season 13. Simon really emphasized the importance of Shin showing more of his personality and it definitely helped audiences fall in love with him. He returned right away to be on ‘AGT: The Champions’ and won the whole entire competition making him the first two time winner in ‘AGT’ history. Shin also made his Broadway debut with the group The Illusionists. He performed at the Mirage in Las Vegas and embarked on a North American tour. He has also made tons of talk show appearances. if you follow him on Instagram you also know that he got married and has since taught his wife some magic tricks. Is a new magic duo going to make an appearance on ‘AGT’ in the future?
Season 14 Winner Kodi Lee
Who doesn’t love Kodi Lee? He is absolutely adorable and really gave us one of the most remarkable stories of someone overcoming the odds to become a superstar on the ‘AGT’ stage. Kodi is legally blind and was diagnosed with autism at an early age but never let that hinder him for achieving his dreams. He went on to win season 14 of aMERICA’S gOT talent after recieveing Gabrielle Union’s Golden Buzzer which advanced him all the way to the live shows. After winning America’s Got Talent Kodi performed at Carnegie Hall twice.
He also won a Reality Television Award for Best Reality TV Moment. And Simon signed him to Syco in a joint deal with Columbia where he started to write new songs. In November, Kodi headlined the America’s Got Talent Live show at the Paris Las Vegas. While coronavirus has prevented him from performing live in front of his usual sold-out crowds, he has been performing virtually. He has also taken up tap dancing and his sister has been teaching him some viral TikTok dances which you need to see.
‘AGT: The Champions’ Season Two Winner V. Unbeatable
V. Unbeatable was heartbroken when they did not win their initial ‘AGT’ season but stole everyone’s hearts yet again when they returned for season two of ‘AGT: The Champions.’ They really captivated audiences with the way they utilize the stage and command attention with their dangerous stunts and tricks. So what is this amazing Indian dance group up to today? Well, sadly, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in their plans to have gigs and tour the world.
Some of the group members have even had to return to their impoverished areas because they are not making enough money to survive or stay afloat. They took to social media to express to fans that they need support and are accepting donations. It would be a shame if all of their talents went to waste. So if you guys want to find out how to help V. Unbeatable and prevent them from dismembering, click here.
Let us know in the comments who your favorite winner of America’s Got Talent is and who you think will win season 15.