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Top 10 America's Got Talent Golden Buzzer Auditions

VO: Lisa Yang WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Dreams do come true. For this list, we’re taking a look at auditions on “America's Got Talent” that got the Golden Buzzer, meaning they were automatically sent to the next round. Our list includes Light Balance, Michael Ketterer, Susan Boyle, Zurcaroh, Mandy Harvey, and more! Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 America's Got Talent Golden Buzzer Auditions.

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Top 10 America's Got Talent Golden Buzzer Auditions

Dreams do come true. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 America's Got Talent Golden Buzzer Auditions.

For this list, we’re taking a look at auditions on “America's Got Talent” that got the Golden Buzzer, meaning they were automatically sent to the next round.

#10: Light Balance

Prepare to have you mind blown! Appearing on the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent”, Ukrainian dance troupe Light Balance came out with a bang, dazzling the judges and host Tyra Banks. In fact, it was Banks who couldn’t resist giving the group a shortcut to the live shows via the golden buzzer. Her excitement was justified, as Light Balance put on a wildly entertaining performance that had the crowd and judges in a frenzy. The only thing more entertaining than watching these guys strut their stuff is the look on their faces when Banks slams her hand on that buzzer!

#9: Michael Ketterer

The 13th season of “America’s Got Talent” once again featured the fan-favorite golden buzzer; and it received plenty of wear and tear from Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Simon Cowell. However, it was the latter that was impressed enough to send singer Michael Ketterer directly to the live shows after his heartfelt rendition of the Bee Gee’s "To Love Somebody" brought the crowd and the judges to their feet. Ketterer’s impassioned speech about teaching your kids about the importance of dreams set the tone for a beautiful performance and might well have played a part in Cowell’s decision.

#8: Freckled Sky

Combining elements of video, light, water and dance, Freckled Sky are performance artists unlike any you’ve ever seen before. Appearing on the 10th season of “America’s Got Talent”, the dancing duo’s innovative audition impressed all the judges, including radio host Howard Stern. Stern was so moved by their performance that he proudly gave them the golden buzzer, but not before inviting their director on stage to take a bow. With the crowd cheering and confetti raining down upon them it’s hard not to get just a little choked up. Hopefully Cirque du Soleil was watching!

#7: Susan Boyle

Susan Boyle is the definition of “don’t judge a book by its cover”. This was never more apparent than on season three of “Britain’s Got Talent” when she sang "I Dreamed a Dream" from Les Misérables and blew the entire world away with her incredible voice. She was at it again on “America's Got Talent: The Champions” in 2019, this time singing the Rolling Stone classic “Wild Horses”. Unsurprisingly Boyle killed it and once again amazed the judges with her otherworldly talent, and it didn’t take long for Mel B to hit her with the golden buzzer.

#6: Courtney Hadwin

When 13-year-old singer Courtney Hadwin walked out on stage the last thing anyone in the audience was thinking was “here comes the second coming of Aretha Franklin.” Well, it didn’t take long for Hadwin to alter their perception, as her rendition of the Otis Redding classic “Hard to Handle” left them and the judges completely lost for words. In a manner of seconds Hadwin transformed from a nervous teen to a soul goddess, turning in a performance for the ages. It was pretty much a forgone conclusion that one of the judges was going to give her the golden buzzer and while it wound up being Howie Mandel, we bet they were all thinking about it.

#5: Zurcaroh

Most acts are lucky to get the golden buzzer once, let alone twice. Well, the Austrian acrobatic group Zurcaroh is not most acts. They first received the gold treatment on the French version of the show before moving stateside to show off their incredible skills to Simon, Howie, Heidi and Mel B. The group put on a truly breathtaking performance, tossing, spinning and hurdling their way across the stage much to the delight of the crowd and the judges. In the end it was host Tyra Banks who hit the golden buzzer and sent them directly to the live shows, where they’d ultimately finish second to magician Shin Lim.

#4: Angelica Hale

Appearing on “America’s Got Talent” at the tender age of nine, singer Angelica Hale took the competition by storm thanks to her larger than life rendition of the Alicia Keys track “Girl on Fire”. Hale, who’s incredibly cute and twice as talented, blew everyone in attendance away and deservedly got the golden buzzer from guest judge Chris Hardwick. The only thing better than her performance was when she adorably thanked the crowd and curtsied. If Hale can sing this well before hitting double digits, we can only imagine what she’s going to sound like in her 20’s!

#3: Darci Lynne

The winner of “America’s Got Talent” season 12, Darci Lynne became the third ventriloquist to take home the show’s top prize as well as its third child. She did it thanks to performances like this one, which served as her introduction to the judges, the crowd and America as a whole. Combining ventriloquism and singing, Lynne had the crowd laughing one second and cheering the next. How she’s able to have such an incredible vocal range with her teeth clamped shut is beyond us, but it was enough to impress Mel B, who gave her the golden buzzer. Moved to tears by the crowd’s reaction, Darci Lynne is one performer who deserved everything she got.

#2: Mandy Harvey

This jazzy singer-songwriter from St. Cloud, Florida appeared on the 12th season of “America’s Got Talent” and brought her ukulele along for the ride. However, unlike many of the show’s other performers Mandy Harvey is deaf and uses a combination of muscle memory, visual tuners and the physical vibrations of the floor in order to sing. The result is one of the most beautiful voices to ever grace the “America’s Got Talent” stage. When the crowd rises to their feet Harvey’s composure breaks for an instant and in that moment even she knows something special is happening. With not a second wasted, Simon hit the golden buzzer and gave Harvey the thrill of a lifetime.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Sal Valentinetti

Emmanuel & Phillip Hudson

Makayla Phillips

Amanda Mena

Craig Lewis Band

#1: Grace VanderWaal

The kind of artist that makes you sit up and pay attention, Grace VanderWaal blew Howie Mandel and the rest of the judges away during her audition for the 11th season of “America’s Got Talent”. Singing her original song “I Don’t Know My Name”, VanderWaal was a revelation; dazzling the crowd with her unique voice, ukulele skills and all-around cuteness. Simon Cowell was quick to heap enormous praise upon the youngster, calling her “The next Taylor Swift”. Mandel gave her the golden buzzer and VanderWaal went on to win that season of “America’s Got Talent”. The future is certainly bright for this singer-songwriter!

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