America’s Got Talent has been on the air for over a decade. The show premiered in 2006 with David Hasselhoff, Brandy Norwood, and Piers Morgan as the judges. Regis Philbin was the host for the first ever season. The show has evolved since then with many notable hosts and judges coming up to the table to witness some of the grandest, awe-inspiring and strange talents that America has to offer.
America’s Got Talent has had many incredible winners, runners-up and top tens and now with America’s Got Talent: The Champions they can come back to win the nation’s heart yet again. Don’t worry, if there are some people you may not recognize in the premiere we got you covered. Here’s a full list of all of the past winners and runner’s up of this competitive hit show.
Winner: Bianca Ryan
Runner’s Up (2nd and 3rd Place): All That and The Millers
At the young age of 11, Bianca Ryan was the first to win America’s Got Talent. Her beautiful singing voice captivated everyone and made her a fan favorite from the beginning. With celebrity coach Yolanda Adams in her corner, this young girl took home the million dollar prize. Male clogging group All That and singer/guitar/harmonica player The Millers were the runners-up in this competition.
Winner: Terry Fator
Runner-Up: Cas Haley
Terry Fator dazzled America with as a singing impressionist ventriloquist. Fator and his adorable puppet Winston, the Impersonating Turtle captured the whimsy of ventriloquism. No one could forget the guest that sang with Winston, Kermit the Frog himself. Their song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” moved everyone with its wholesome nature and humor.
Cas Haley also moved America as a singer/musician. Haley was a stay-at-home dad from Texas whose reggae style really had the audience grooving with him. His duet with UB40 was also one to remember as they belted out “Red Red Wine.”
Winner: Neal E. Boyd
Runner-Up: Eli Mattson
Neal E. Boyd really made his presence known with his talent. Known as a pop opera singer, his voice carried him all the way to the top. With impressive renditions such as “Nessun dorma” from the opera Turandot and “Somewhere” from West Side Story, he was known as the one to beat in the season three competition. Ultimately, no one could beat his powerful voice though Eli Mattson came close.
Eli Mattson is a singer/pianist whose smooth voice entranced the audience. His rendition of “Your Song” by Elton John and “Nobody Knows” by Tony Rich made fans everywhere fall in love. His acts were just him and the piano, creating an intimate setting and it allowed his raw talent to speak for him. An incredible act through and through.
Winner: Kevin Skinner
Runner-Up: Bárbara Padilla
Country singer Kevin Skinner took home the million dollar prize and the 10-week headline show at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip for season four. Skinner’s country twang and smooth range really resonated with the audience. His rendition of “I Don’t Want to Miss A Thing” by Aerosmith really delivered during the finale.
Bárbara Padilla is a talented opera singer that was the Runners-up for this season. With an impressive range and control over her voice, she dominated the stage with her presence. In every performance, she seemed to put her heart and soul into the music.
Winner: Michael Grimm
Runner-Up: Jackie Evancho
Michael Grimm, the singer/musician from Colorado was the winner of the fifth season. Grimm caught the attention of the nation with his incredible voice. His duet with Jewel at the finals was one to remember as they both seemed to sing their heart out and leave it all on the stage.
Jackie Evancho is a singer who specializes in classical crossovers. A young girl with such an astonishing and powerful voice. She seemed to almost cause spells as the audience are entranced with her talent. With no fear and a love for what she does, Evancho has a truly incredible talent.
Winner: Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.
Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. is a Frank Sinatra-style singer that won it all in season six. The similarities between Murphy Jr and Sinatra is astounding. From his audition, the audience and judges alike were astonished as he sung “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by Shirley Bassey. His finale performance was incredible as he belted out “My Way” by Sinatra himself. His voice brought home the prize
The Silhouettes was a dance group that was the sixth season runner’s up. A truly talented group of dancers that stunned the judges and the nation. They dance to little to no lighting with a lit background behind them. All the audience can see are their silhouettes (hence the name) as they perform brilliant choreography. A creative concept that took this group far into the competition.
Winner: Olate Dogs
Runner-Up: Tom Cotter
Olate Dogs broke the trend of singers and musicians taking home the grand prize for America’s Got Talent. They were also the first non-solo act to win the show as well. Of course, no one can resist cute dogs least of all adorable dogs that can do some pretty amazing tricks. Their adorable hops, flips, jumps, and more brought home the prize. Also, let’s be real Sharon Osbourne’s reaction during their audition was all of us at home.
Comedian Tom Cotter was the seventh season runners-up. His timing and ‘inappropriate’ jokes surprised many in the audience but he always got a laugh. His jokes held a similar theme and never failed to at least put a smile on people’s faces. He came close but unfortunately, it’s hard to compete with adorable dogs.
Winner: Kenichi Ebina
Runner-Up: Taylor Williamson
Kenichi Ebina had an interesting act, to say the least, he is known as a martial arts dancer/mime. His act stunned audiences as he incorporated talents that most wouldn’t think go together well. From his audition, audiences were astonished to see the amount of control he had over his body and movements. Everything is so precisely choreographed and well thought out to show what he is truly capable of. An incredible talent that took home the prize.
Comedian Taylor Williamson was the eighth season runners-up. From his audition, he was dubbed as an awkward comedian. Whether Williamson’s awkward nature is part of his performance or who he is, is up to interpretation but he utilizes that well for his routine. A man who knows how to generate a laugh, he went far in this competition.
Winner: Mat Franco
Runner-Up: Emily West
Magician Mat Franco was a first in the show, the first magician to win America’s Got Talent. Mat Franco specializes in card magic. In his auditin he went up to the judges, leaving everyone to wonder how spectacular can a card trick be? In short, pretty spectacular. Not only could he predict the cards that he would turn up, but he made them blank, and even had them change to pictures of the judges. His incredible tricks left everyone mesmerized.
Singer Emily West was the ninth season runner’s up. A Nashville songstress with impressive vocals, nothing could stop her from trying to reach her dream. I still get chills when I hear her rendition of “Chandelier” by Sia. She has a classic look and vocals to match that mesmerize everyone in the audience. An authentic singer that really resonated with the fans of the show.
Winner: Paul Zerdin
Runner-Up: Drew Lynch
Paul Zerdin is the second ventriloquist to win America’s Got Talent. Zerdin and his Sam really knew how to brighten up a room and have everyone laughing. His audition was clever with faking a sound check failure and discussing with Sam over what to do. His finale brought back season two winner, Terry Fator onto the stage. The act left the audience laughing and helped to bring the prize to Zerdin.
Drew Lynch was the tenth season runners-up. He is a comedian that also knew how to make the audience crack up. His memorable finale alongside contestant Gary Vider left everyone not just entertained but laughing almost the entire time. Lynch was a fan favorite as he took up stand up comedy after a sports injury caused him to develop a stutter. A truly talented young man who didn’t let anything get in his way.
Winner: Grace VanderWaal
Runner-Up: The Clairvoyants
Grace VanderWaal captured the hearts of Americans everywhere. Her audition was one of the most wholesome moments in the season, perhaps even in the show. In fact, her audition is the most viewed video on America’s Got Talent YouTube channel with over 91 million views. Her lovely voice and talent with the ukelele took her to the top. She has a natural knack with songwriting and is a sweet girl who wanted to sing to whoever wanted to hear her.
The Clairvoyants were the runner’s up of the eleventh season. Their act was nothing short of shocking and awe-inspiring. Thommy Ten and Amélie van Tass are a magician and mentalist duo. From the beginning, they stunned audiences with Thommy showing the audience an item and Amélie would guess the item, usually blindfolded. From a phone to the numbers on Simon’s credit card she would guess with astonishing accuracy. They even went so far as to submerge Amélie in a tank of water so there was no doubt in their act. Truly an incredible duo performance.
Winner: Darci Lynne Farmer
Runner-Up: Angelica Hale
Darcy Lynne Farmer is the third ventriloquist act to win America’s Got Talent. Farmer is also the third child act to win the show. She is a shy girl who uses ventriloquism to help overcome that. From her audition, she proved just how talented she is as her puppet Petunia sang her heart out. The finale was one to remember as Petunia and Darcy were joined by former winner Terry Fator and his puppet Winston. A truly charming girl with a gift for ventriloquism.
Child singer Angelica Hale was the Runners-Up for the twelfth season. An adorable girl that caused many in America to fall in love from her audition. Her sweet voice gave no indication of her powerhouse vocals. She blew everyone away with her powerful renditions of songs such as “Without You” by David Guetta and “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. In fact, she could even hold her own with the powerhouse vocalist Clarkson as they sang ‘Stronger” for the finale.
Winner: Shin Lim
Magician Shin Lim mystified the audience with his performance and tricks. He is the second magician to win the show. In his audition, audiences were confused when it seemed he would perform a simple card trick but it became so much more. Known as the card magician he performed acts that seem almost impossible. From changing cards to different colors, seeming to imprint a card on his chest, turning them blank, and so much more. He shocked everyone with his act and took home the prize.
The acrobatic group Zurcaroh was the Runners-up for the thirteenth season of the show. With their impressive numbers and seemingly impossible cohesion, they performed a number of acts that cannot be put into words. Impressive, awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping it doesn’t seem to be enough. Their routines are more than just dance numbers, with flips, incredible lifts and so much more there is no denying the talent and trust in this group.