What’s The Difference Between ‘AGT All-Stars’, ‘AGT: The Champions’?

Corey Cesare
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'America's Got Talent All-Stars' Key Art, 'America's Got Talent: Champions' Key ArtNBC

America’s Got Talent‘s newest spin off, AGT All-Stars is in full swing and fans cannot get enough of it. As soon as the series kicked off, fans began to question how it’s different from AGT: The Champions.


Is AGT All-Stars Just AGT: The Champions Season 3?

There’s no denying that AGT All-Stars features some of the best contestants to ever grace the Got Talent. I mean, we’ve seen it all, fan favorites, previous winners, and we’ve even met new contestants. At the end of the day, fans are getting a major case of déjà vu on a series that should be selling nostalgia.

From the get-go, AGT All-Stars was clarified as a show like AGT: The Champions, featuring past winners, fan favorites, and more. This description was totally fine for many AGT fans, until they noticed that the format is almost exactly the same as the show’s inspiration.

AGT: The Champions is Definitely AGT All-Stars’s Inspiration

AGT: The Champions debuted in 2019 with the judging panel of Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Mel B. The season was relatively short, featuring five weeks of preliminary acts (10 per week), and a finale featuring 12 acts. In 2020, the show returned with a slightly different format. AGT: The Champions season two featured four weeks of preliminary acts (10 per episode), one semifinal episode (featuring 12 acts), and a finale featuring the remaining 10 acts.


In each season of AGT: The Champions, acts could move into the next round by either earning the Golden Buzzer, or Superfan votes. Since the judges and host could only hit their Golden Buzzer once a season, a rule was implemented in season two, making it so only one could be pressed per preliminary episode. Since there were four judges on the panel, Terry Crews didn’t get to award a Golden Buzzer.

It seems like AGT All-Stars was born from the ultimate mix of AGT: The Champions seasons one and two. Some of the biggest similarities include the number of acts per week, superfan voters and ultimately, the types of acts (for the most part). I will admit, there are a few notable differences between the shows. The first, and probably the biggest is that fan favorite contestants (who likely didn’t make it past the judge cuts) were invited to join the season. Other differences include the three person judging panel, reintroduction of the host golden buzzer and an anticipated Group Golden Buzzer.

Fans Still Dislike The Superfan Format

Point blank, there are some formatting decisions that fans dislike. Just like with the other series, fans don’t like the superfan format. Similar to before, this format is extremely vague, leaving a lot up to interpretation of who these voters really are. Since that’s a whole explanation within itself, I’ll explain the reason this format fails. America’s Got Talent is a show that literally thrives off of America choosing the winner. Taking the public vote out of the format changes the entire feel of the show and arguably makes fans less invested. Even though your average AGT fan knows producers are heavily invested, the vagueness of the “superfan” makes many think the producers are the voting body.


Last, but certainly not least, many have begun to question the show’s new decision to have the Golden Buzzer judge announced at the beginning of the episode. Although this is most likely trying to mimic The Champions 2 (where only one Golden Buzzer could be used per episode) it feels wrong to know who’s going to give the award. On the original series, the Golden Buzzer is an award that anyone can pick to use at anytime, taking away this flexibility is a really bizarre move.

The anticipation of the Golden Buzzer keeps fans on the edge of their seat. Without being able to guess which judge will award it, you don’t have the same type of draw.

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