Why Winner Kodi Lee Will Not Compete On ‘America’s Got Talent: Champions’

Jill O'Rourke
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AGT winner Kodi Lee poses with judges Simon Cowell, Julianne Hough, Gabrielle Union, and Howie Mandel.NBC

The taping of the second season of AGT: The Champions just wrapped up, which will premiering in January, and you might expect Season 14 winner Kodi Lee to be part of the lineup. And it sounds like he definitely considered it. However, don’t get your hopes up just yet!

While the official lineup hasn’t been revealed yet, there’s evidence online that suggests Kodi Lee will not be competing in the new season of AGT: The Champions. Let’s take a look at why that might be.

Kodi Lee is named the winner of “AGT” Season 14.

After he won the show, Kodi’s mom Tina told People that she was going to wait a few days to see how he felt about it. “But I definitely think he will,” she said. “I want to give him the rest and then he’ll give me the answer.”

Judge Simon Cowell, however, didn’t seem to think it would be a good idea for Kodi to return to the show so soon. “I think this is as much pressure as he probably needs in one year,” Simon told People. “I think he needs to enjoy it for the moment, and hopefully forever. Maybe next year.”

Why Isn’t Kodi Lee Returning To ‘AGT’?

One reason AGT might not want Kodi to compete on Champions this year is due to something called “recency bias.” Basically, this means that people are more likely to remember things that have just recently happened.

Because of this, the show’s superfans might be more likely to vote for Kodi, whose many performances they just saw, over other contestants they may not remember as well from previous seasons.

Shin Lim is named the winner of “AGT: The Champions.”

Just look at what happened earlier this year in the first season of AGT: The Champions. Magician Shin Lim, who had just won Season 13 of AGT, ended up winning the Champions version as well. While there’s no doubt he’s talented, this could have been due to fans fondly remembering his recent time on the show.

Is It Time To Give Another Act A Chance?

As great as Kodi and Shin are, it can be boring to watch the same people win the show twice, just months apart. Let’s give a second chance to someone else, perhaps a non-winner or a talent from another country.

It may be more than just recency bias which would win Kodi the show again. His audition made a huge splash on social media in Season 14, and he has a big following. Even though Champions voting isn’t open to the entire country, it’s likely that a large portion of the show’s superfans are Kodi Lee fans.

Kodi Lee performs in the “AGT” finals.

Keeping Kodi out of the competition could even the playing field a bit. In the past, we’ve questioned whether it’s fair for winners and non-winners to compete against each other, and whether the show should focus on one or the other. Keeping the most recent winner out of the running could be the first step toward a fairer competition.

We love Kodi, and can’t wait to see where the future takes him. But if he were to return, it’s very likely he would win again, and it would be nice to see someone else have their chance at the title. Plus, like Simon said, maybe Kodi can come back in a future season.

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