America's Got Talent has produced no shortage of stars boasting a wide variety of talents over the fifteen seasons so far, and even a pandemic wasn't enough to stop the latest season from delivering a winner. Now, the show is gearing up for Season 16 with some changes in place for how the contestants win their slots on the NBC hit, and former champ Darci Lynne Farmer has shared her thoughts on the audition process changing to virtual performances.
Darci Lynne Farmer, who won Season 12 of America's Got Talent with the help of her puppet pals, has dropped by AGT since taking the top prize in 2017. Since she went through the traditional audition process for AGT, she can see some potential advantages and disadvantages to taking the auditions virtual with 90-second videos. Speaking with CinemaBlend's Nick Venable, the16-year-old ventriloquist singer shared:
I think, you know, maybe there are pros and cons, because walking onto that stage and seeing all those faces stare at you is literally terrifying; I almost passed out. But you can never replace that moment and that feeling, so you know, getting that taken away from you kind of stinks, but I think it's also less nerve-wracking doing it all through virtual. So there's like pros and cons. But just good luck to everyone. That's gonna be definitely a different experience.
America's Got Talent usually starts seasons by putting the contestants in front of crowds that are wild to see the best, brightest, and occasionally most bizarre acts that the show has to offer. According to Darci Lynne Farmer, the moment of the audition on stage can't be replaced, but auditioning from home with a short video will probably result in a lot less nerves for some of those auditioning! And it's a good thing she didn't pass out during Season 12, or she might never have become the champion she was by the end.
Darci Lynne Farmer has an act that could have worked perfectly well via video, as long as she had the help of Petunia and Co., but other acts are hard to imagine pulling off their performances without the space and scale of the AGT stage. In fact, an aerialist earned a spot in the final five of Season 15 with his death-defying act that couldn't exactly have happened via Zoom without a large space. Farmer responded to the question of whether the virtual auditions would lead to smaller acts giving AGT a shot:
I honestly wouldn't be surprised, though, if they had some crazy danger acts over Zoom. You can do anything with technology, and AGT always brings out crazy stuff. So I mean, I wouldn't expect any less.
The former America's Got Talent champion couldn't rule out some crazy acts giving the show a shot via Zoom, and AGT has proved over the years that some surprising things can be done as long as people are willing to try. And no, I'm not talking about the Human Fountains! A lot of acts also start smaller and get bigger the farther they get in competition, so the talent could get crazier as the season gets into gear.
As for whether or not she thinks she would have done anything differently if she had auditioned virtually for Season 12, Darci Lynne Farmer said:
I don't know if I necessarily would have changed it. It just would have been...I don't know. Honestly, I feel like it would have been a little harder, because for me, from personal experience, I feed off of energy in the audience and just reacting to them. And so I feel like it'd be definitely different, but a challenge to attack. I've had to do some virtual shows this past year, and they've definitely been different. But it's something new, so I think that's the cool [part] of it, how they're not really like giving up. They're just using other options, and I think that's pretty cool. So I don't know if I would change mine, but there definitely would've been a difference.
Darci Lynne Farmer may not have experienced the America's Got Talent ride virtually, but she apparently has done some virtual shows over the year when a whole lot changed in the entertainment industry. Interestingly, she actually participated in the latest season of America's Got Talent when she brought her puppet Edna to the show to have a chat with new judge Sofia Vergara and her puppet, named Mr. Grumpy. The result was a very weird tribute to Simon Cowell, but fans were surely happy to see Farmer again.
Fortunately, Darci Lynne Farmer (and Petunia) joined several other of the most memorable America's Got Talent veterans, including AGT and AGT: The Champions winner Shin Lim, to help explain the virtual audition process in a fun video. Take a look!
No details are available just yet about an NBC premiere date for America's Got Talent Season 16, but you don't need to wait to audition for a slot in the talent competition. In fact, you shouldn't! Virtual audition calls begin on January 23 and continue through to early February, and you can find more details to sign up from the official America's Got Talent auditions website. Auditioning via video submission is an option as well. As for what you can watch while waiting for more AGT, check out our 2021 winter and spring premiere schedule!