When the auditions for America's Got Talent (AGT) air, they show this huge hall with what appears to be several hundred people waiting to go on stage. Now I realize only a small number of acts that appear before the judges are shown on TV. But it doesn't seem possible that all of the contestants you see backstage with ID numbers actually get in front of the judges and the audience.

Each act plus the judge's comments takes several minutes, and some (such as acrobatic and magic acts) may take a while for equipment set up. So it seems that at most maybe 6 or 7 acts can be seen by the judges per hour.

How long do the auditions last each day? If it was six hours (allowing for breaks), that would still be only 35 to 40 acts. If they run over two days, that's still only 80 acts max. It appears there are a lot more acts than that waiting to audition in the main hall.

And if the auditions do last all day, do they have more than one audience seating?

  • While I can't comment on the original, as far as I know at least for the German equivalent candidates have to go through several stages of auditions before even seeing some camera. And even then I bet they specifically pick candidates based on things to make fun of or actually use for promotion and show effects about (like being fat, singing really bad, having just lost some parent or partner, etc.) at least for our version here in Germany; can't speak for the US one).
    – Mario
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:09
  • @Mario I understand that is true for the US version also (acts are vetted by producers or others before they are even selected to appear before an audience). My question was more about the mechanics of the televised auditions, e.g. given that only so many acts can be seen per hour, how many hours each day do the judges (and audience) have to sit through?
    – tcrosley
    Jul 7, 2016 at 9:14


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