The auditions round of Americas Got Talent Season 17 is not over yet but all four judges and host Terry Crews have already selected their golden buzzer for the summer. Simon Cowell Howie Mandel Heidi Klum Sofia Vergara and Crews all chose acts with some notable differences and very unique backstories and longtime AGT fans know well by this point that getting a golden buzzer gives contestants a big advantage when it comes to the $1 million prize and Las Vegas show.
While getting a golden buzzer certainly does not guarantee a win on Americas Got Talent performers ranging from Paul Zerdin in Season 10 to Darci Lynne Farmer who regularly returns to AGT in Season 12 to the history making Brandon Leake in Season 15 have took the top prize after getting that buzzer.
So now that all four judges and Terry Crews made their selections lets take a look at who has the best odds at this point. All are of course very talented but backstory can be nearly as important as talent when it comes to moving forward so there are a lot of factors to consider especially after just one performance. So lets get into it
Sara James came all the way from Poland to take her shot at Americas Got Talent and her story as somebody coming to the United States with a dream hit home with Simon Cowell. Then her performance of Billie Eilishs Lovely impressed him enough that he went for the golden buzzer even though he acknowledged that it was not perfect.
I rank her as the least likely of the five golden buzzers to win for a few reasons even though I – like Simon Cowell and everyone in the audience was impressed by her performance. Singers are pretty common on Americas Got Talent and thats generally not an advantage. She also sang a cover rather than an original song. When the competition is as stiff as it could be between the golden buzzers even the small differences can matter and a cover vs. an original could make or break At the time of writing her performance on June 14 that guaranteed a slot in the live shows has accumulated more than 12.5 million views.
Lily Meola came to Americas Got Talent with an original song called Daydream which she sang for the judges and audience after sharing the heartbreaking story of her mothers cancer diagnosis and death. Her song was powerful enough that Heidi Klum changed her mind after she intended to hit the buzzer for an act other than a singer in Season 17 and Klum guaranteed her a slot in the live shows.
I would say that her original song gives her an edge over Sara James to go along with the deeply personal story plus Klum being so impressed that she changed her mind. At the same time she faces the same potential problem as James AGT just has a lot of singers and viewers are sometimes more inclined to vote for the kinds of acts that they have not seen before. At the time of writing Lily Meolas performance on June 28 has accumulated more than 3.4 million views on YouTube.
If you want to see a singer who can put the amazing in Amazing Grace then watching and rewatching 11 year old Madison Taylor Baezs standout performance is worth the time. The crowd immediately responded when she walked up to the stage out of the audience and sang without any musical accompaniment and it was at the audiences urging that Howie Mandel hit the golden buzzer for her.
Baez ranks third due to the absolute power in her voice that had the entire panel of judges marveling and having developed her talent so much before even hitting her teens makes for a great story. Plus she wants to win the $1 million prize to help her father with cancer research due to his diagnosis. Considering that I already cant wait to see her perform in the live shows it was hard to rank her in the middle of the pack but once again shes a singer in a competition packed with singers and I am not sure how much shell be able to elevate her act moving forward.
Still kids have won AGT before and I am certainly not ruling it out. At the time of writing Madison Taylor Baezs performance on June 7 has accumulated more than 12.2 million views on YouTube.