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10 years of 'Talent': The 14 most memorable performers

Posted by armen chang Wednesday, July 29, 2015 0 comments

When considering the range of talent on NBC'sAmerica's Got Talent, one might utter: Holy Cow! That's not just an exclamation, but the name of a break-dancing auditioner in an inflatable cow suit from Season 1.
Cow was shown the barn door quickly, but other acts, such as top Las Vegas ventriloquist Terry Fator, have thrived. Many performers will be remembered Wednesday in a two-hour, 10th-anniversary special, 10 Years of Talent (8 p.m. ET/PT).
As a TV competition, AGT is unique, last season's winner Mat Franco says.
"It's the only one of its kind, because: any age, any talent. That is the crazy thing about it," he says. "Many times, it's apples vs. oranges. You can have someone who's five years old and you could have someone who's 86 years old. One of them could could be singing, the other one could be dancing on their head, juggling with their feet. It's the best platform for variety performers in the world."
Howie Mandel, a judge since Season 5, marvels at the range of memorable performers.
"The beauty of our show is that it's about moments, (which) are so eclectic and diverse," he says. "There's the moment when 10-year-old Jackie Evancho opens her mouth and you hear the sound of angels to the moment that a guy by the name of Horse (Zac Gordon) comes on stage and begs you to kick him in the groin. That is exactly what variety is, and there is something for everyone. And that's why we're the No. 1 show of the summer."
AGT has been a summer ratings leader for years and is tops this summer, too, averaging 12.5 million viewers.
A few contestants, such as Fator, have gone on to marquee-level success, but many others reached their career peaks on the AGT stage. But Talent's powerful spotlight can even help boost contestants like Holy Cow, who was eliminated by the judges during his audition, says executive producer Jason Raff.
"A couple of years later, I met him in Tampa," he says. "And he's like, 'Oh my God, that show changed my life. I've now quit my job and I'm doing my inflatable break-dancing cow routine around the country and even the world.' "

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