‘America’s Got Talent’ just named its first ‘All-Star.’ Here’s a look at the top acts
Here’s a breakdown of the top 11 acts, which included musicians, singers, comedians, dancers, acrobats and more
Note: This story has been updated to include the winner.
“America’s Got Talent” brought back 60 former champions, finalists and fan favorites to compete for the ultimate title of “AGT All-Star.” On Monday night, the show crowned its first “All-Star” winner: 18-year-old aerialist Aidan Bryant.
Saxophonist Avery Dixon was the runner-up. The Ukrainian dance group Light Balance Kids placed third; ventriloquist Ana-Maria Margean placed fourth; and magician Aidan McCann placed fifth, per NBC.com.
Here’s a breakdown of the 11 acts that competed in the finale.
Who competed in the ‘AGT: All-Stars’ finale?
Light Balance Kids
The Ukrainian-based dance group Light Balance Kids was the first act to make it through to the finale, beating out “AGT” greats like Season 2 winner Terry Fator. Light Balance Kids — who received a golden buzzer during Season 14 of “AGT” — received the first golden buzzer of “AGT: All Stars” from judge Howie Mandel.
Before the dance group’s performance, one member shared how a few of them had to travel to the competition alone, as their families are involved in the war in Ukraine, USA Today reported. Their dance routine to Junior Senior’s “Move Your Feet” got a standing ovation from the audience and high praise from all of the judges, with Simon Cowell calling it the group’s best performance to date.
“You’ve always been one of my favorite acts that I have seen in the history of ‘America’s Got Talent,’” Mandel told the group, according to NBC.com. “And there’s such an amazing message here. Where you come from, at this point, it’s arguably the darkest place in the world. And you come across the globe to bring us light. And if I can do anything, anything on behalf of America, on behalf of ‘AGT: All-Stars,’ to bring you even more light than you brought us, I’d like to do that for you.”
Mandel proceeded to hit his golden buzzer for the group, immediately advancing the dancers to the finale.
The Bello Sisters
Following the Light Balance Kids, the Bello Sisters — a dance trio from Season 15 — also advanced to the finale after earning the most votes from fans, USA Today reported.
During their “AGT” run in Season 15, the sisters performed what the judges described as “humanly impossible” acrobatic tricks, and shared how they hope to open their own family show in Las Vegas, the Deseret News previously reported. The Bello Sisters reached the top 10 during their initial run on “AGT.”
Detroit Youth Choir
The second golden buzzer of the season went to the Detroit Youth Choir, which was the runner-up to “AGT” winner Kodi Lee on Season 14.
Host Terry Crews opted to award his golden buzzer to the large choir following its energetic rendition of Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder.”
“One golden buzzer is not enough!” shouted Crews, who previously gave the choir a golden buzzer during its Season 14 audition.
The Detroit Youth Choir received high praise from all of the judges, with Mandel calling it “a championship performance.”
“I’m actually speechless,” Cowell said with emotion. “I mean, seriously speechless. This was just magic, absolute, creative magic.”
Following the Detroit Youth Choir, Aidan Bryant, an 18-year-old self-taught aerial artist, got enough votes from “AGT” superfans to make it to the finale.
Bryant was the runner-up to “AGT” winner Dustin Tavella on Season 16, and continually impressed the judges with his skills — made all the more impressive by the fact that he had only begun to hone in on his skills amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Following Bryant’s routine for “All-Stars,” Cowell called the teenager one of the best contestants the show has ever seen.
Mike E. Winfield
Comedian Mike E. Winfield received the third golden buzzer of “All-Stars,” thanks to Cowell. A finalist during this past season of “America’s Got Talent,” Winfield said he was determined to win.
For his “All-Stars” audition, Winfield did a routine about how “AGT” has changed his life and his family’s life — and his delivery and determination persuaded Cowell to hit the golden buzzer, immediately advancing Winfield to the show’s finale.
“You’ve come back funnier, more confident,” Cowell said. “I can even see it in your eyes how much this means to you right now.”
During his previous run on “AGT,” the comedian from Baltimore, Maryland, impressed the judges so much that Mandel offered him the chance to open for him at his upcoming show, the Deseret News previously reported.
Winfield frequently opens up about his family life in his routines, talking about how he married an older woman.
“He often jokes about the age difference and his wife treating him like a kid,” his website states. “For instance in the grocery store she yells in front of everyone, ‘You better not throw anything extra in the shopping cart.’ His response? ‘Well that’s hard for me to do while I’m sitting in it!’”
Following Winfield, saxophonist Avery Dixon — another finalist from this past season of “AGT” — secured enough votes from superfans to make it to the “All-Stars” finale.
For his “All-Stars” audition, Dixon performed a rousing rendition of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” — a performance that led Cowell to say he believes the saxophone player has a good shot at winning the competition.
“You, young man, are an all-star,” Mandel said following the performance. “You are a show.”
During his initial run on “AGT,” the 22-year-old musician from Atlanta, Georgia, shared that he was bullied for his voice and his appearance when he was younger and ultimately found the saxophone to be an outlet for him to escape all of the negativity, per the Deseret News.
“You need to be here, you’re supposed to be here,” Mandel said following Dixon’s audition, which has more than 7 million views on YouTube. “And you will change the world.”
Aidan McCann, a 13-year-old magician who was a Season 14 finalist on “Britain’s Got Talent,” received the fourth golden buzzer of the season from “AGT” judge Heidi Klum.
During the episode, McCann shared how he became interested in performing magic tricks when he was 5, inspired by magicians on “AGT” like Piff the Magic Dragon and winner Shin Lim.
For his performance on “All-Stars,” McCann had the “AGT” judges color in a picture of a superhero (while he was blindfolded). After they finished coloring, McCann made a big reveal that shocked all of the show’s judges (no spoilers here).
“That was unbelievable, seriously unbelievable,” Simon Cowell said.
“I don’t know how you did it,” Klum added. “You are incredible. I love the magic but really it is you who is the magic. You really are. I think you’re such a little star. You sparkle.”
Following McCann, Power Duo — an aerialist act that was the 2016 winner of “Pilipinas Got Talent” — earned enough votes from superfans to reach the show’s finale.
The performers, a husband and wife duo, received high praise from the judges following their performance for “All-Stars.”
“Two people that are in love, and that do something so beautiful together,” Klum added. “It was beautiful.”
Tom Ball, a “Britain’s Got Talent” singer and finalist from 2022, received the final golden buzzer of the season.
Ahead of his performance — a passionate rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” — Ball said he appreciated having the opportunity to compete on “AGT: All-Stars.”
“Being here is my second chance,” the 24-year-old high school teacher said. “I want to win this.”
Ball got a standing ovation for his performance, followed by chants of “golden buzzer” from the audience.
“You’re like Susan Boyle’s grandson because what you do is not what we expect. For me, this is the best performance I’ve seen all series,” Cowell said, noting that he believed Ball would have won “BGT” in 2022 had he performed this for the finale.
Following Ball, 13-year-old ventriloquist Ana-Maria Margean received enough votes from superfans to advance to the finale.
Although Margean is relatively new to ventriloquism — she’s only been at this since the start of the pandemic — it hasn’t put her at any sort of disadvantage.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, Margean discovered a video of ventriloquist Terry Fator, one of the most successful “AGT” winners of all time, and was inspired to learn the art of ventriloquism. She got a puppet for her 11th birthday, and she didn’t waste any time getting to work.
In 2021, she won “Romania’s Got Talent” with her newfound talent. For her appearance on “All-Stars,” Margean opted to banter back and forth with her dog puppet — made by her mom — and perform a duet of “You Don’t Own Me.” She received high praise from all of the judges, who marveled that she’s only been doing this for a couple of years.
“Wow, no wonder you won,” Klum said following the performance. “You are incredible. You’re gorgeous. You can sing so beautifully. I love your furry friend, and it was funny, too.”
Kodi Lee was the final act to advance to the finale. His “All-Stars” episode featured 10 talented acts that included “AGT” winner and spoken word poet Brandon Leake, and the fan-favorite “AGT” comedian Josh Blue.
But when Lee stepped onto the “All-Stars” stage, it became pretty clear he was in a league of his own. Lee, a pianist and singer who won “AGT” in 2019 — and whose audition, with more than 430 million views, is the most-viewed audition in “AGT” history — was greeted with a massive standing ovation from the audience.
“He’s like a rock star,” “AGT” judge Heidi Klum said.
Lee performed Calum Scott’s “Biblical” and once again received a standing ovation from the show’s judges and audience.
“There’s no other word to describe what you do than amazing,” Mandel said. “And you are truly amazing, you’re truly an all-star.”
“I feel like my heart doubles in size when I hear you sing,” Klum added. “And you truly are an all-star, and I feel like ‘AGT’ is what it is because of people like you.”
Lee — who is 26 years old and spent several years in Utah — is blind and has autism. The success he has found through “AGT” has inspired countless fans.
“When Kodi won … I felt like the whole world won because it opened up so many doors,” Lee’s mom, Tina Lee, previously told the Deseret News. “Everything that we fought for and everything that we’ve done for him, it made me just so happy to know that he’s opening doors for all the other parents’ kids. He’s shown the world that anything is possible — no matter what.”