“America's Got Talent,” NBC’s top-rated summer series from producer Simon Cowell’s Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America, returns this summer with the hottest performers from across the country ready to compete in the blockbuster reality show’s eighth season. The live shows again will originate from the New York tri-state area. This year, high-octane entertainer and former Spice Girl Mel B joins supermodel, designer, producer and TV host Heidi Klum as the newest judges. They’ll take their seats alongside comedian, TV host and producer Howie Mandel and outspoken radio personality and author Howard Stern. This marks the first time that a fourth judge has been added to the panel. Actor, producer and comedian Nick Cannon returns as host.
With the talent search open to acts of all ages, “America's Got Talent” has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing performers from across the country. The series is a true celebration of the American spirit, featuring a colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists, all vying for their chance to strut and perform on stage hoping to win America's hearts and the $1 million prize.
Last season, traveling dog act Olate Dogs was crowned the winner. Olate Dogs is a high-energy, fast-paced dog act filled with impressive pet tricks led by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate.
In season six in 2011, West Virginia native Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. beat out thousands of acts to take home the coveted $1 million grand prize. He signed with Columbia/Syco records and released his first album, “That’s Life,” that November. Murphy Jr. is currently performing in select U.S. cities.
Mississippi-born soul singer Michael Grimm was named the winner of the fifth season’s competition. The win moved the humble soul singer to tears as he took home the show’s $1 million prize. After headlining the national “America’s Got Talent Tour,” he toured with the legendary Stevie Nicks and Heart. Season five also brought national attention to then-10-year-old classical singer Jackie Evancho, who has gone on to release several best-selling albums.
Season four winner Kevin Skinner released his debut album, “Long Ride,” in 2010. Pop opera singer Neal E. Boyd won season three, and has since performed for audiences that included U.S. presidents. Season two winner Terry Fator — a ventriloquist from Dallas — achieved his lifelong dream when he was crowned the champion. After the win, he went on to sign a deal to headline at the Mirage in Las Vegas, where he continues to perform. Singer and songwriter Bianca Ryan won the premiere season of “America’s Got Talent” when she was just 11 years old.
“America’s Got Talent” is produced by Simon Cowell’s Syco Television and FremantleMedia North America. Cowell, Jason Raff, Sam Donnelly, Trish Kinane and Rob Wade are the executive producers.