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See Every One of Sofia Vergara’s Golden Buzzer Moments on America's Got Talent
One of Sofia Vergara's Golden Buzzers on America's Got Talent was used on an Act that would win the show's $1 million prize.
With Season 18 of America’s Got Talent coming later this year, we’re looking back at the wonderful Golden Buzzer moments on the show courtesy of Sofia Vergara, who joined AGT as a Judge three seasons ago.
Along with Judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Simon Cowell, and Host Terry Crews, Vergara gets just one chance to use her Golden Buzzer on an exceptional talent act worthy of skipping auditions and moving straight into the AGT Live Shows.
The Golden Buzzer was introduced to the series in Season 9, while the Group Golden Buzzer — saved for an act garnering the approval of all the Judges and the Host — was introduced in Season 16. Both are top-honor events, celebrated with bursts of gold confetti and standing ovations.
Season 15: Roberta Battaglia
Ten-year-old Canadian sensation Roberta Battaglia — who’d already won Vergara over as a fan of Modern Family — had a rocky start when standing on stage, crying with nervousness. She immediately had the Judges in the palm of her hand when beginning the 2018 hit “Shallow” by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. (You can watch the audition here).
At one point, Cowell instructed Vergara to shut her eyes and listen to Battaglia’s voice, which Vergara called “mature.”
Battaglia cried as soon as she completed the song, telling the Judges she faced bullying in school.
“It was amazing; it was breathtaking,” Vergara said of the child’s performance. “You’re 10 years old; that’s impossible to sing like that at 10 years old. And you know what? Let’s see who’s going to bully you after this.”
The Golden Buzzer sent Battaglia to the quarter-finals, and though she ascended to the finals, she took fourth place in the season. Battaglia came behind singer Cristina Rae, musical duo Broken Roots, and spoken word poet Brandon Leake, the latter of whom would win Season 15.
Season 16: Jimmie Herrod
Sofia Vergara returned in Season 16, saving her Golden Buzzer for Jimmie Herrod, an online kids’ singing coach who chose to sing “Tomorrow” from the Annie musical. However, Judge Cowell referred to “Tomorrow” as “my worst song in the world.”
Despite Cowell’s dislike for the song, Herrod — who didn’t have a backup song for Cowell — managed to wow the Judges after belting the tune, sending even Cowell to his feet.
“I have to say, I didn’t like it that much,” said Vergara, who remained seated as the other Judges stood. “But I loved it!”
Vergara slammed on the Golden Buzzer, and though the Portland, Oregon singer made it to the top five, the Season 17 winner would be magician Dustin Tavella. (You can watch Herrod’s Golden Buzzer moment here).
Also in Season 16 was the introduction of the Group Golden Buzzer, which — at Cowell’s behest — was saved for 9-year-old Victory Brinker, who earned the honor by singing the opera song “Je Veux Vivre.” Vergara and Klum called it a sign when a pigeon trapped in the building flapped across the stage after Brinker finished the song.
Season 17: Mayyas
In Season 17, Vergara wisely used her Golden Buzzer for a dancing act that would go on to win the show’s $1 million prize: an all-female Lebanese dance group called Mayyas. Choreographed by Nadim Cherfan, the group — consisting of dozens of Lebanese women — hoped to bring female empowerment to the stage with a hypnotizing act that incorporated belly dancing and aesthetically-pleasing precision and storytelling.
“Us being here, standing on the biggest stage in the world, is our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do,” said one of the team’s dancers.
The act brought the Judges to their feet.
“There are no words to explain to you what we were feeling over here,” said Vergara. “It was the most beautiful, creative dancing I’ve ever seen.”
Though Mayyas won the entire season, the Judges and Crews used their Group Golden Buzzer on singing trio Chapel Hart, who’d placed fifth in the overall competition.
Vergara will return with Mandel, Klum, Cowell, and Crews for Season 18.
You can catch up on previous episodes of America’s Got Talent on NBC and Peacock.