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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

A Breakdown of How America's Got Talent Works

We detail the America's Got Talent format and how you can vote.

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe
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After 18 seasons, the minds behind America's Got Talent have gotten the show's process down to a science. (And there's 17 winning Acts to prove it). But in case anyone out there needs a refresher, we've broken down exactly what to expect from the show, below. 

How to Watch

Watch AGT Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Have your Golden Buzzers ready; it's AGT 2023 time!

How does America's Got Talent work?

The show is broken up into different rounds across 15 weeks: Auditions and Live Shows that all lead up to the FinaleDuring the pre-taped Audition episodes — which begin airing on Tuesday, May 30 at 8/7c — Acts must earn at least three "Yes" votes from the Judges (Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara) in order to move forward and avoid elimination. At any point during Auditions, the Judges (and Host Terry Crews) have one chance each to use their Golden Buzzer, which automatically advances an Act to the Live Shows. The group Golden Buzzer will also return this year, meaning six Acts will automatically move on. There's also an additional extra Golden Buzzer that gets fans involved, bringing a total of seven Golden Buzzers to Season 18.

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Select Acts then go on to compete in the Live Shows. Beginning Tuesday, August 22 at 8/7c, we'll see a total of 55 different performances across five weeks (11 Acts will perform each week). During Wednesday night's Live Results Shows, we'll see two Acts advance to the finale each week based on fan votes. The rest of the Acts will be eliminated from the competition.

During the Finale, the remaining top Acts will each perform once again. The next night during the Finale Results, America's vote determines who wins the $1 million grand prize and a show in Las Vegas.

What is the AGT Season 17 schedule?

This season's rounds will take place across 15 weeks. AGT will air every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Beginning August 23, AGT will also air every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. The full schedule is below:

  • Auditions: May 30 - August 8
  • Live Shows BeginAugust 22
  • Finale: September 26
  • Finale Results: September 27

How do I vote during the Season 18 AGT Live Shows?

We still have some weeks to go until live show, so voting is not yet available. Check back here in the days leading up to August 22 for all the information and instructions you'll need to know how to vote.

This article was published on May 20, 2022. It was updated on May 26, 2023.