America’s Got Talent Winners Then vs. Now – A Fascinating Look at the Journey from Underdogs to Superstars!

From captivating performances to jaw-dropping talents, America’s Got Talent has been the ultimate platform for showcasing extraordinary abilities. Over the years, the show has produced many winners who have taken the world by storm with their unique skills. But what happened to them after the cameras stopped rolling? Discover America’s Got Talent winners where are they now in their careers?

Been a sensation on television since its inception in 2006. America’s Got Talent season 17 along with previous seasons is available on Peacock. Exploring their journey from the stage to success, take a look at America’s Got Talent winners then and now. Also, the show is back with Season 18 to premiere on May 30, 2023. Don’t miss out on who will be the next in the list of AGT winners!

America’s Got Talent Season 1 – Bianca Ryan

americas got talent winners bianca ryan

Let’s start with the very first winner of America’s Got Talent, Bianca Ryan. She was just eleven years old when she won the competition in 2006. Her powerful rendition of And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going by Jennifer Hudson left everyone in awe. After winning the show, she released a self-titled album, which was moderately successful.

Ryan faced a major setback when she underwent surgery for paralyzed vocal cords. She took a 10-year hiatus from singing but returned to the stage for America’s Got Talent: The Champions in 2020, demonstrating her incredible resilience and passion for music.

Since then, she has continued to perform at various venues and events, including singing The National Anthem at Madison Square Garden in New York City ahead of Jake Paul’s boxing match in 2022. Ryan’s talent and passion for music have kept her moving forward, and she continues to create and release music. Despite the challenges, Ryan remains an inspiration to aspiring singers and performers everywhere.

America’s Got Talent Season 2 – Terry Fator

Terry Fator

The second winner of the show, Terry Fator, won the hearts of millions with his ventriloquist act in 2007. Since taking home the grand prize, Fator has become a beloved regular on the AGT stage, appearing as a guest act several times. He has become one of the most successful to emerge from the show, with his residencies at top Las Vegas venues.

Including the Las Vegas Hilton and The Mirage, where he has performed for millions of fans. In 2021, he and his puppet friends headlined a new show titled Who’s the Dummy Now? at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Vegas. Terry has also released multiple albums and has had his own TV show, “The Terry Fator Show,” which aired for one season on NBC.

Despite his busy schedule, Fator has made time to compete on AGT: All-Stars in 2023 and has expressed his excitement about returning to the competition. With his incredible skills and charismatic stage presence, it’s no surprise that Fator continues to be a fan favorite and a major force in the world of ventriloquism.

America’s Got Talent Season 3 – Neal E. Boyd

neal e boyd

In 2008, America’s Got Talent’s third season winner was Neal E. Boyd. He won the competition with his operatic singing. Boyd went on to release his album My American Dream in 2009 and even ran for Missouri House of Representatives twice after winning the competition and securing a headlining spot at MGM’s Grand Garden Arena in Vegas.

Unfortunately, he faced many challenges in his career, including a car accident that left him with multiple injuries. Sadly, the talented singer passed away at the young age of 42 in 2018. He will always be remembered for his incredible talent and winning personality.

America’s Got Talent Season 4 – Kevin Skinner

kevin skinner

The fourth season of America’s Got Talent saw Kevin Skinner take the crown with his country singing in 2009. Following his win and headlining gig at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Vegas, Skinner released his album Long Ride in 2010. He went back to his life in Kentucky and has not been involved in the music industry since.

However, the country star has since kept a low profile, with few updates on his life and career. It’s unclear what Skinner is up to now, but his talent and memorable performance continue to be remembered by AGT fans.

America’s Got Talent Season 5 – Michael Grimm

michael grimm

In 2010, Michael Grimm, the winner of the show’s fifth season, won over the audience with his soulful singing. After the show, he released multiple albums and has toured extensively. Grimm headlined the first AGT tour, returned to the show as a guest performer, and even competed on AGT: The Champions season 2 in 2020.

In 2022, Grimm released The Red Album and embarked on a summer tour the following year with scheduled stops in various locations such as Vegas, Texas, Alaska, and Arizona. Despite his success, Grimm remains committed to making music and performing for his fans.

America’s Got Talent Season 6 – Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Landau Eugene Murphy

In 2011, the sixth season of America’s Got Talent winner was Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. His soulful performance of Bono and Frank Sinatra’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” earned him a Yes from the judges, paving the way for his eventual victory.

After the show, Murphy released his debut album titled ‘That’s Life,’ which topped the Billboard Jazz charts in 2011. The singer-songwriter has continued to produce music and perform across the globe, including at the World Expo in Dubai in 2022. Murphy also uses his platform to support various charities and provide scholarship opportunities.

America’s Got Talent Season 7 – Olate Dogs

olate dogs 1

Richard and Nicholas Olate, a father-son duo, along with their talented dogs, were America’s Got Talent winners of season 7 in 2012. Olate Dogs, the winners, were the first animal act to win AGT. They continued to perform at various venues after the show. Following their win and a successful headlining gig at The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

They even teamed up with the Humane Society in 2014 to raise awareness about animal welfare, according to Fox19. After touring with their Circus Royal Spectacular show, the group has kept a low profile since 2018, which was the last time they posted on their Instagram. No update about them since.

America’s Got Talent Season 8 – Kenichi Ebina

kenichi ebina

In 2013, Kenichi Ebina won the show’s eighth season with his unique dance performances, which combined martial arts, robotics, and contemporary dance. After the show, he had his own show in Las Vegas and returned to compete in AGT: The Champions in 2019. Kenichi has also made appearances on other TV shows and has been a judge on “World of Dance.”

In the years since, Ebina has taken his unique style of dance to stages around the globe, performing in places like Japan and Dubai. Along with continuing to perform, he also teaches and choreographs dance routines.

America’s Got Talent Season 9 – Mat Franco

Mat Franco

Mat Franco, the winner of the show’s ninth season in 2014, is the first and only magician to win America’s Got Talent. His mind-boggling magic performances, his mastery of card tricks, and his unexplainable illusions left everyone wondering. Since becoming the first magician to win the show, Franco has held a residency ‘Mat Franco: Magic Reinvented Nightly’ at The LINQ Hotel in Las Vegas since 2015.

He has also made several guest appearances on AGT. He continues to mesmerize live audiences with his magical performances, and his Instagram is filled with his tricks that reach fans from all over the world. In January 2023, Franco performed the ultimate trick by becoming a father. He and his wife, Tianna Scartabello, welcomed their first child into the world on January 6th.

America’s Got Talent Season 10 – Paul Zerdin

paul zerdin

Paul Zerdin‘s win on season 10 of AGT in 2015 marked the first time a ventriloquist had taken the top prize. His comedic banter with his puppet sidekick had the audience in stitches, making him an instant hit with viewers. Zerdin’s success on AGT earned him the coveted Golden Buzzer from one of the judges, making him the first contestant to receive the honor.

He went on to win the $1 million dollar prize and headline his own show in Las Vegas. While he returned to the competition for AGT: The Champions in 2019, Zerdin frequently performs in his native United Kingdom, showcasing his hilarious talents to audiences around the world. His win on AGT has solidified his place as one of the most talented ventriloquists in the entertainment industry.

America’s Got Talent Season 11 – Grace VanderWaal

grace vanderwaal

In 2016, Grace VanderWaal, America’s Got Talent winner of the eleventh season, won over the audience with her unique songwriting and ukulele playing. Her unique talents and originality earned her a show in Vegas after her win, as well as the admiration of Taylor Swift. Since then, VanderWaal has released her debut album with Columbia Records, Just the Beginning, in 2017 which was well-received by critics.

She has released multiple singles and her second album Ur So Beautiful in 2019. Also, expanded her artistic pursuits, signing with IMG models and pursuing acting opportunities. She starred in the Disney+ original film Stargirl and its 2022 sequel, Hollywood Stargirl, and is set to appear in Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming feature, Megalopolis.

America’s Got Talent Season 12 – Darci Lynne Farmer

Darci Lynne

Darci Lynne Farmer with her ventriloquist act became the America’s Got Talent winner for Season 12 in 2017. It featured a variety of puppet characters. Her talent earned her the Golden Buzzer, which led to her victory in the competition. In addition to placing second on AGT: The Champions two years later, she also performed as a guest alongside Terry Fator during AGT’s season 17 finale in 2022.

Since her win, Farmer has toured extensively across the United States with her collection of puppet friends. She has also explored acting, appearing in several TV shows and films, including the 2022 movie A Cowgirl’s Song and the Fancy Nancy series.

America’s Got Talent Season 13 – Shin Lim

shin lim

The thirteenth season of America’s Got Talent was won by Shin Lim in 2018. He wowed the audience with his incredible sleight of hand magic. He continued his winning streak by taking home the top prize on AGT: The Champions the following year, making him the first person to win the competition twice.

Since his victories, Lim has made appearances on popular talk shows like The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and The Ellen DeGeneres Show. He also performs his mesmerizing acts at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, where he holds a residency.

America’s Got Talent Season 14 – Kodi Lee

Kodi Lee

In 2019, Kodi Lee became America’s Got Talent winner of season 14 with his incredible vocals and piano skills. Despite being blind and autistic, he touched the hearts of many with his talent. Gabrielle Union, a former judge, was the one who gave Lee the Golden Buzzer, leading him to take the prize home.

Later he headlined a show in Las Vegas. Kodi has also made appearances on other TV shows, including “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” Lee currently performs at AGT’s live show held at the Luxor in Vegas, where he amazes audiences with his musical prowess.

America’s Got Talent Season 15 – Brandon Leake

Brandon Leake

Brandon Leake won the show’s fifteenth season in 2020 with his spoken word poetry. His emotionally charged performances moved the audience with his meaningful words. He became the first spoken word artist to win America’s Got Talent. Following his victory, which earned him a new car and a show in Vegas.

Leake released a book titled ‘Unraveling’, a collection of deeply moving poems. Brandon has also made appearances on other TV shows, including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” He currently showcases his talent and shares his stories in AGT’s live Vegas residency show.

America’s Got Talent Season 16 – Dustin Tavella

dustin tavella

Dustin Tavella emerged as the winner of AGT’s season 16 in 2021, enchanting audiences not only with his mesmerizing magic but also his compelling storytelling. With his incredible talent and stage presence, he dominated the competition and took home the prize trifecta.

Today, Tavella is one of the hottest acts in Las Vegas, headlining his own residency at AGT’s Luxor. Audiences continue to be mesmerized by his performances, which blend magic and storytelling seamlessly. Tavella’s success on AGT has proven to be a launchpad for his career, solidifying his place as a rising star in the entertainment industry.

America’s Got Talent Season 17 – The Mayyas


The Mayyas, a Lebanese female dance troupe, made their mark and became America’s Got Talent winners in 2022. With their captivating audition, they earned Sofía Vergara’s Golden Buzzer. They continued to impress audiences week after week, leading them to take home the prize. Since winning the show, The Mayyas have become one of the hottest acts in Las Vegas, headlining their own residency at AGT’s Luxor.

In January 2023, the group added another impressive accomplishment to their list when they performed at a private concert for Beyoncé at the Atlantis The Royal grand resort in Dubai. They wowed a star-studded audience that included the likes of Kendall Jenner, Chlöe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Rebel Wilson, and many more. The Mayyas continues to amaze audiences with their talent.

Wrap Up

In conclusion, the winners of America’s Got Talent have come from a wide range of talents, including singers, dancers, magicians, and even animal acts. While some winners have faced challenges in their careers, others have gone on to achieve incredible success and even have their own shows in Las Vegas. It’s always exciting to see what new talent will emerge from the show each season, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the winners of America’s Got Talent.

Urooj Tufail Author at Watchinuk
Urooj Tufail

With a pen, passion and proficiency, our writer Urooj weaves together compelling narratives to inspire the readers.

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