The 15 Greatest America’s Got Talent Auditions of All-Time

By: Jacob Elyachar

On Tuesday, new judges Mel B and Heidi Klum join veteran judges Howie Mandel and Howard Stern to usher in a new era of America’s Got Talent.

In preparation for the Tuesday night premiere, here are some of the most memorable auditions in the series’ history!

#15-Andrew De Leon (Season Seven)

It was the most surprising audition of the seventh season.  19-year-old make-up artist Andrew De Leon gave his debut performance on America’s Got Talent.   When he sang “O Mio Babbino Caro,” Andrew became an instant fan-favorite and received a standing ovation.

#14-Eli Mattson (Season Three)

In the first seasons of America’s Got Talent, there was not a singer who emulated so much soul than Eli Mattson.  The Wisconsin native’s cover of Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis“ was haunting and gave everyone in the audience goose bumps.

Terry Fator and longtime friend Emma Taylor surprised everyone with their audition in the show's sophomore season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

Terry Fator and longtime friend Emma Taylor surprised everyone with their audition in the show’s sophomore season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

#13-Terry Fator (Season Two)

Ventriloquists were rarely seen on television in the early 2000s.  America’s Got Talent winner Terry Fator changed all that when he appeared on the show’s sophomore season.  While former judges David Hasslehoff and Sharon Osbourne were very hesitant with Terry’s first appearance, everything changed when Emma Taylor opened her mouth.

#12-Alice Tan Ridley (Season Five)

Three seasons later, former New York City subway singer Alice Tan Ridley stole the show with her cover of “At Last.”   Alice still remains one of the best R&B vocalists that has ever graced the AGT stage.

 

Daniel Joseph Baker's fierce cover of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" won him a place in Vegas. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

Daniel Joseph Baker’s fierce cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” won him a place in Vegas. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

#11-Daniel Joseph Baker (Season Six)

Sometimes being yourself will help you get to the Vegas Rounds.  19-year-old Katy, TX native Daniel Joseph Baker displayed his fierceness when he made his debut on AGT.  His cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” remains the best highlight from the Houston, Texas auditions.

#10-Jackie Evancho (Season Five)

When America’s Got Talent debuted their YouTube special, there was only one true superstar that emerged from the group.   10-year-old Jackie Evancho stole the show with her unbelievable cover of the classic opera aria: “O Mio Babbino Caro.” Since her second place finish, Jackie has become one of AGT’s famous alums.

#9-Prince Poppycock (Season Five)

While it is often risky dressing up as a character, John Quale was welcomed with open arms to America’s Got Talent’s fifth season.   His flamboyant alter ego entertained the crowd and Mrs. O fell in love with him.

#8-Sideswipe (Season Two)

It could take multiple tries to get to the AGT stage.   While the Extreme Martial Arts stunt group was cleared to move onto the next rounds of the first season of America’s Got Talent, they had to withdraw from the competition due to one of their members having an ankle injury.   They returned next season with a vengeance and their audition set the standard for extreme sports acts to follow.

 

Earth harpist William Close debuted his huge string instrument during the Season Seven auditions. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

Earth harpist William Close debuted his huge string instrument during the Season Seven auditions. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

#7-William Close (Season Seven)

42-year-old William Close debuted the world’s largest string instrument  (the Earth Harp) during his audition.   He blew everyone away by creating some gorgeous music that pleased both the audience and the judges.

#6-Silhouettes (Season Six)

The Denver-based dance group made their debut during the Season Six auditions in Minneapolis.  What made the Silhouettes unique was that they combined light, dance and storytelling in one 90-second presentation.   Eventually, the Silhouettes were crowned the runner-ups of their season.

#5-Nuttin’ But Stringz (Season Three)

Queens natives Damien and Tourie Escobar brought “the violin to the forefront of music” when they combined the string instrument with Hip-Hop.  Their audition changed the game for every single band that entered the competition after the third season.

 

Opera singer Barbara Padilla won America's hearts when she performed "O Mio Babbino Caro" during the show's fourth season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

Opera singer Barbara Padilla won America’s hearts when she performed “O Mio Babbino Caro” during the show’s fourth season. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

#4-Barbara Padilla (Season Four)

The Houston opera singer, full-time mom and cancer survivor’s stunning cover of “O Mio Babbino Caro” gave everyone chills and proved that dreams never die.

#3-Lightwire Theater (Season Seven)

Dinosaurs ruled the Season Seven auditions as the New Orleans natives brought out a diverse group of light puppets for an astonishing audition that received a standing ovation from the entire house.

#2-Fighting Gravity (Season Five)

13 Virginia Tech fraternity brothers made AGT’ history when they made their debut.   All three judges stated that their act was edgy and current and headed to Las Vegas.

To re-watch their audition, click here: http://youtu.be/LH2nxIswdx8

 

Team iLuminate's audition blew everyone away in the show's seventh season and claimed the top spot in my countdown. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO)

Team iLuminate’s audition blew everyone away in the show’s seventh season and claimed the top spot in my countdown. (Photo property of NBC and SYCO-TV)

#1-Team iLuminate (Season Six)

The iLuminate technology made its world premiere on the America’s Got Talent stage in 2011.    After wowing the audience, former judge Piers Morgan declared that their audition was “The single most exciting audition I have ever seen on the show.”

Do you have a favorite AGT audition? Share below!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. sharell baloney says

    QUEEN EMILY
    was aslo one of the best auditions in season 3
    she also went on to release an album in London
    on the Jools Holland Show

  2. Micah Florence says

    Well now we can replace number #11-Daniel Joseph Baker. I say take him out and put Kenichi Ebina on this list. Kenichi should be number two.

  3. Ever since Lil Mike & FunnyBone exploded onto the world music scene a few years ago thanks to NBC’s America’s Got Talent, they’ve been traveling the world, climbing charts, & gaining popularity. They hold the title as one of the most watched and loved acts of season 8 with an unforgettable performance of their Hit song RainDance. The OKC duo is guaranteed to get the crowd bouncing and leave listeners wanting more. Also their latest album “Rain Dance” (Nominated Best HipHop Album of the Year in CANADA) is doing quite well. It’s pretty clear that MIKEBONE is here to stay!
    Here’s the link to the Epic performance: https://youtu.be/clth4OVmBYg

  4. My wife is going to love this. She is a big fan of your stuff.

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Copyright 2020 Jacob Elyachar