‘America’s Got Talent’: Howie Mandel Says These People ‘Always Have It Harder’

If you can argue much of the talent on this season’s run of America’s Got Talent are a little derivative of what we’ve seen in prior seasons, there’s still plenty of inspiring acts.

While we see a lot of outstanding showbiz stories from the individual talent, a lot of emotion also comes from the group acts, typically dancers, choirs, or acrobats.

These group performers don’t always do well winning a spot in the Final Ten when the season ends. One particular judge thinks he knows why they always have it harder than the solo performers.

Hearing this from Howie Mandel might sound harsh and insightful, something we don’t always expect from him. He does have a point, though, and it’s worth exploring whether more group performers will want to continue competing.

Let’s remember ‘AGT’ has no rules, leaving it open for anybody to perform

Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel | Justin Lubin/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Mandel was interviewed on Extra recently and gave some very interesting views on the impact AGT continues to make on talent from around the world. He noted the show has virtually no rules, meaning anyone of any age can perform.

You also don’t have to be from America to perform there, with many having previously performed in international editions of the show.

In addition, Mandel said performers who tend to do well there have a unique personality of their own. We definitely see evidence that viewers are drawn to winning personalities, like autistic and blind Kodi Lee who’s a clear prodigy in turning old songs into versions like we’ve never heard.

This year, we’re also seeing more group performers than we ever have. Most of those performers are dancers with an occasional choir. These groups seemingly become larger, sometimes with up to 50 different performers.

When this happens, it makes it harder to find attraction to any one personality, despite the performers creating uniform emotion during their routines.

Mandel still says not to count out all the group performers

A performing group has never won AGT, though a few came close. There’s some truly extraordinary groups performing this year bringing the house down with their dancing and singing. If you can argue they maybe can’t always connect emotionally with viewers at home, having them there will almost guarantee they’ll go on to do more.

Most of you have probably noticed by now the real purpose of appearing on a competitive reality show is to lose rather than win since losing is the new winning. Not everyone is always happy winning these shows since it binds the performer to a strict contract. Just the exposure alone is enough to bring enough work to last a lifetime.

Watch Mandel’s interview on Extra and you’ll see him say that when you drive the entire strip of Las Vegas, almost every marquee has at least one name of a prior AGT performer. Some of these performers didn’t necessarily win the show.

Outside of this positive development for groups, what’s the real reality of having to perform this way on the show or during tours?

The dark side of working in a group

Let’s look at the reality of having to perform in a large group for a lengthy period of time. Perhaps the adrenaline is working overtime when performing on the AGT stage, but once going out on the road for tours, dividing up ticket sales always proves problematic.

When you have a group of 50 or more people, having to divide up earnings based on how many tickets sold would hardly pull in a huge profit. Having to pay each individual person is already a problem when you have a large band. Just imagine how little each performer would make if you have multiple dozens of personnel?

No wonder the goal is to make it to Vegas where the bigger bucks can be made. These realities might discourage more group performers from auditioning for AGT. Regardless, we probably won’t stop seeing more of them competing as a chance to show working together for a larger performing cause is often more inspiring than one performer can achieve.