JT Exclusive – AGT: Season 16 Finalists, Howie, Heidi, Simon, & Terry Crews Speak!

AGT Season 16 crew
I had the opportunity for the second to last time this season to head into the ‘AGT’ virtual press room. (Photo property of NBC)

 By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

Jake’s Take had the opportunity to speak with the America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16 finalists, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, and Terry Crews after the show went off the air from the Dolby Theatre.  Here are some of the highlights:

Finalists Reflect: 

All ten acts beat out thousands of hopefuls to perform in front of the judges (Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum) and the AGT audience. Each finalist that spoke with Jake’s Take reflected on how the show helped them grow as performers: 

“We are not professionals. We would get the songs in the beginning, and it would take us so long to practice and rehearse to get it together finally,” said Keshia Jaboin, a representative of Northwell Health Nurses Choir. “Now, things are so flawless. We have learned each other’s sound. We harmonized well and built this amazing bond together. It is incredible how much we have grown. America can see how we have developed between our first audition and tonight’s performance. It has been amazing ride and we are so grateful to be here.”

“I learned how to work quicker and more proficiently thanks to AGT,” said quick-change artist Lea Kyle. “I also gained more confidence as a performer. This has been of one of the best experiences in my life.”

AGT has challenged me in so many ways,” said magician Dustin Tavella. “We are not only performing, but we also have to create something new each time. It has stretched me to do things that I have not done in my life.” 

“It has added a level of fearlessness to my performing,” said comedian Gina Brillon. “You are under so much pressure every time that you have to perform. It is an enormous stage to perform on, and to get through that and have fun on stage every time I performed here has been such a learning experience. I had to get past the nerves and the anxiety so I could give the best performance possible.”

“It (The America’s Got Talent experience) helped me grow my confidence,” said opera singer Victory Brinker.

The Judges & Terry’s Take: 

Veteran judge Howie Mandel stated that America’s Got Talent: Season 16 (AGT) represented the light at the end of the tunnel.

“This season was the light,” said Howie Mandel. “It (the finale) felt the most back to normal in the last two years. The finalists brought us back to the world we all deserve to live in.”

After starting the season without them, veteran judge Heidi Klum stated that having the audience back reenergized the show.

“It’s amazing how they (the AGT production team) done the auditions to give a feel of having an audience there,” said Heidi Klum. “We missed hearing people roaring and clapping, so it was amazing to see how they filmed that. Now, there is a sense of normalcy with the audience back. The Dolby was roaring and packed. It makes such a difference.”  

Host Terry Crews believed that America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16 “grew up” this year.

“We found our stride after the last couple of years,” said Terry Crews. “We are back in the Dolby, and we were better than ever. This is the premium show on television right now, and I am honored to host it. AGT is the biggest talent show in the world, and we prove it every year. I could not be prouder.” 

The Got Talent creator had one word to describe this season and the finale. 

“Optimistic,” said Simon Cowell. “It was just what we needed right now. I have done this a lot over the years (but the Season 16 finale) was one of those nights you will never forget. There was something very special in the atmosphere.” 

Tonight, the Season 16 Champion will be crowned as an all-star group of guest performers join the finalists to celebrate the end of the season!

I want to thank everyone at FremantleMedia North America, NBC, and Scenario PR for allowing me to have conversations with the acts, the judges, and Terry Crews. Thank you for making America’s Got Talent (AGT): Season 16 one of the best years I have covered this show! 


Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar