Jake’s Take: How to Improve ‘AGT Champions’ For Season Two

Shin Lim became the first champion to win two ‘Got Talent’ franchises. (Photo property and graphic of NBC)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

America’s Got Talent: The Champions just crowned Shin Lim its first champion. My gut feeling is that Champions is not a one-time deal. Deadline reported that Champions had successful ratings throughout its run, and it could potentially return either next year or in 2021.

If America’s Got Talent: The Champions does return, here are some suggestions that the producers should implement for Champions’ sophomore season:

(Photo property of NBC & Syco TV)

More Acts From the Piers-Brandy-David-Sharon Era

What I noticed when the Champions producers announced, there were not a lot of acts from the show’s first six seasons. Bianca Ryan, the Texas Tenors, Jackie Evancho, and Prince Poppycock were the only representatives of the Piers Morgan, Brandy, David Hasselhoff, and Sharon Osbourne seasons. There is no excuse for the producers who failed to recruit AGT legends such as Terry Fator, Barbara Padilla, Grandma Lee, Fighting Gravity, and Team iLuminate to return for this show. I hope that we see more legends compete in the sophomore season.

Both Howard Stern and Sharon Osbourne have unfinished business with both AGT & Simon Cowell. (Photo property of TV Overmind)

Old Frenemies

While it was a delight to see David Hasselhoff back on AGT: The Champions, I thought that it would have been great to see two of the best Got Talent judges in history to rejoin the panel: Sharon Osbourne and Howard Stern. Their presence would have been welcomed as they are the only two judges that would stand up to Simon. Plus, they have unfinished business with Cowell.  Howard’s hatred towards the Got Talent creator stems back to the time Cowell tried to steal his judges’ seat.  Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that The Talk co-host blasted her former X Factor UK costar after producers did not honor her contract.  Also, Champions would have been very different if these two switched out with Howie and Heidi. Hypothetically, Sharon would have picked Prince Poppycock as her Golden Buzzer pick and Howard would have had words with Simon after the Got Talent creator buzzed Season Seven runner-up Tom Cotter.

Amanda Holden Britiain's Got Talent
Amanda Holden (Photo property of iTV | Digital Spy)

International Got Talent Judges

The AGT: Champions production team should consider bringing in a fifth judge if the show gets a sophomore season. That fifth judge could be a member of the international Got Talent family. Superfans would be interested to see Simon interact with longtime colleagues Amanda Holden (Britain’s Got Talent) and Louis Walsh (Ireland’s Got Talent) at the Judges’ Desk.  Other strong candidates that could join Champions might be RuPaul’s Drag Race mainstay Michelle Visage (Ireland’s Got Talent), Dan Karaty (Belgium’s Got Talent and Holland’s Got Talent), and Anggun (Asia’s Got Talent). It would also be fun to see Simon go toe-to-toe with Kyle Sandilands (Australia’s Got Talent) and David Foster (Asia’s Got Talent).  Speaking of Asia’s Got Talent…

I think ‘AGT: Champions’ audiences would be blown away by ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ superstar Gerphil Flores. (Photo courtesy of Gerphil-Geraldine Flores)

Asia’s Got Talent inclusion

I was shocked that Champions did not include acts from Asia’s Got Talent. Opera singer,  friend to the blog and Asia’s Got Talent: Season One finalist, Gerphil Flores, would have provided a fantastic challenge for Jackie Evancho, Paul Potts, and Susan Boyle. Meanwhile, shadow act and the series’ inaugural champions El Gamma Penumbra would inspire the United States with their beautiful performances. Also, K-pop acts such as BTS and 4th Impact have taken the world by storm. If would be a shame that we do not see Asia’s hottest acts on the world’s biggest stage.

The Audience Veto

Several fans have grumbled that some of the judges (I am looking at you, Howie, Heidi, and Simon) picked horrible acts to advance to the Champions finale. I think that the Pasadena Civic Center audience should have the power to veto a Golden Buzzer act. For example, if 50 percent or more of the audience disagreed with Simon’s decision to advance Kechi to the finale, they would use an iClicker and take away Kechi’s place in the finale. It would also force the Got Talent creator to use it on another act of his choice.  While some fans might find the Audience Veto cutthroat and harsh, it represents the entertainment industry’s politics.

A Golden Audience

The Audience Veto will give AGT fans the power of Golden Buzzer for the first time in franchise history. This particular Golden Buzzer would only activate if more than 60 percent of the Pasadena Civic Center audience agreed to advance the act of their choice. The audience’s Golden Buzzer could insert some drama between the acts and would make Champions a very compelling TV series.

AGT takes over Radio City Music Hall
‘AGT: Champions’ could soar to new heights if it returns to Radio City Music Hall. (Photo property of NBC)

Return to Radio City Music Hall

If America’s Got Talent: the Champions is renewed for a sophomore season, I hope that Simon and the producers bring the show back to New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. During its three season residency, AGT acts delivered excellent performances that set the bar for the Simon Cowell era’s performers. I believe that over 6,000 audience members’ presence could make or break the act.  

LIVE!

Many AGT fans grumbled that Champions was taped and not live. While it is tradition for both the Judges’ Auditions and Judges Cuts to be taped, the rest of the show is broadcast live across the country.  If the show moves forward, the Auditions should remain taped, which would allow the viewers to vote.  A lot of fans are unhappy with the 50 State Superfan Initiative having the power this season, I believe it is time for the producers to restore the viewers’ voting privileges.

I do not own the ‘Asia’s Got Talent’ clips that are featured in this article. They belong to AXN Asia, FremantleMedia Asia, and Syco.

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Copyright 2019 Jacob Elyachar