'America's Got Talent: The Champions': Why Viewers Can't Vote on the New Season of 'AGT'

America's Got Talent: The Champions is proving controversial among fans, who are disappointed that they are unable to vote on which acts go through to the finals of the NBC series. Unlike regular AGT, Champions is not live, meaning that the winner of the show has already been decided by a group of "superfans," who saw all the acts perform in fall 2019.

NBC has never revealed the reasons behind the decision why AGT: The Champions is pre-taped, despite this being unpopular with the fans of the competition show. The fact that the show was filmed in fall, however, suggests that this may be a scheduling decision. After all, if they film Champions in fall, the production team can film episodes straight after the regular season of America's Got Talent has finished, while all the judges are still in Los Angeles and the studio is set up. This prevents them from having to shut down production in September, only for them to have to start up everything again in January. It also means the show can be filmed quicker.

This is also the case with Britain's Got Talent: The Champions, which filmed in July 2019 after BGT ended in June, and then aired in September.

americas got talent the champions voting
"America's Got Talent: The Champions" judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell and Alesha Dixon, plus host Terry Crews NBC

However, this pre-recording means there is no way for viewers to vote on the all-stars edition of AGT. Instead, the outcome of the show is decided by a number of "superfans" taken from all 50 states. This group is separate from the live studio audience, according to Gold Derby, who were told by an NBC spokesperson that the group "watched each show taping off-camera in a controlled environment within the show's venue," in Pasadena, California. NBC added that the group was, "not necessarily the exact same group of individuals voting for each episode, but there was some cross-over from week-to-week, similar to what you would find with any voting show."

As for how these delegates vote, they said: "After viewing all of the acts, the superfans cast their votes via electronic keypads and were personally responsible for selecting the people's choice winner for each episode." Other acts are put through to the final by host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and new recruit Alesha Dixon, all of whom have a Golden Buzzer that will put an act straight through to the final.

Speaking to Forbes, Cowell said of the format: "The 'superfans' were important because they are all fans of the show, and we had to make sure they represented every state.

"They were in the neighboring place to where I was filming. When I say these guys were taking it seriously, they were taking it seriously. I would pop in several times during the taping.

"I really think they enjoyed the fact that, you know, they really had to think about it. And what was really impressive was they didn't just vote for the American act. There were these surprises. It says a lot about the people who know who watch AGT. It's a very inclusive show. I like the idea of doing it the way we did."

As for how AGT fans at home can become a "superfan" for any future season on Champions, forms appear on the show's website when they are looking for new applicants.

America's Got Talent: The Champions 2020 airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.