Season 16 of America's Got Talent premiered on June 1, 2021. The entire judging panel from Season 15 returned, as well as the host. Simon Cowell has recovered from his back injury and returned to the judges desk this season after he had an electric bike accident since the live shows of Season 15.
Sonic is the official beverage sponsor of this season, having its products shown throughout the show and their cups on the judges' desks.
|Howie Mandel||Heidi Klum||Sofia Vergara||Simon Cowell|
Main article: Season 16 Episodes
Main article: Season 16 Acts
Main article: Season 16 Auditions
Each act that performed in front of the judges was given 90 seconds to demonstrate their talents for the judges. If an act received at least three "Yes" votes from the judges, they were accepted to the next round. Otherwise, they were eliminated from the competition.
Main article: Season 16 Deliberations
Unlike previous seasons, rather than having a dedicated bootcamp round to determine the live show acts, the acts were selected from those in the auditions, much like Britain's Got Talent. 36 acts will progress to the Quarterfinals.
Main article: Season 16 Quarterfinals
From the 36 Quarterfinalists, 12 acts performed each week over 3 weeks. Each week, 7 acts moved on to the Semifinals.
The contestants that came in sixth, seventh and eighth place in America's Vote fought for votes online in the Instant Save. The act who received the most votes earned a spot in the Semifinals. The judges voted between the two remaining acts the last spot of the week in the Semifinals.
|Judges' Choice Vote|
|1. Canine Stars||Dog Act||Eliminated|
|2. Peter Rosalita||Singer||Moved On|
|3. Beyond Belief Dance Company||Dance Group||Eliminated (JC/WC)|
|4. Madilyn Bailey||Singer||Moved On (JC)|
|5. Kabir Singh||Stand-Up Comedian||Moved On (SS)|
|6. Dustin Tavella||Magician||Moved On|
|7. 1aChord||Vocal Trio||Moved On|
|8. Gina Brillon||Stand-Up Comedienne||Moved On|
|10. Sethward||Novelty Act||Eliminated|
|11. Matt Johnson||Escape Artist||Eliminated|
|12. Jimmie Herrod||Singer||Moved On|
|1. T.3||Vocal Trio||Eliminated (JC)|
|2. Dokteuk Crew||Dance Group||Eliminated|
|3. Johnny Showcase||Comedy Band||Eliminated|
|4. Tory Vagasy||Singer||Moved On (SS)|
|5. Shuffolution||Dance Group||Eliminated|
|6. Aidan Bryant||Aerialist||Moved On|
|7. Northwell Health Nurse Choir||Choir||Moved On|
|8. Positive Impact Movement||Acrobatic Group||Eliminated|
|9. Peter Antoniou||Mentalist||Moved On|
|10. Korean Soul||Vocal Harmony Group||Moved On (JC)|
|11. Josh Blue||Stand-Up Comedian||Moved On|
|12. Victory Brinker||Opera Singer||Moved On|
|1. UniCircle Flow||Unicycle Group||Moved On (JC)|
|3. Léa Kyle||Quick Change Artist||Moved On|
|4. The Curtis Family C-Notes||Band||Eliminated|
|5. Keith Apicary||Dancer||Eliminated|
|6. Michael Winslow||Voicetramentalist||Moved On (SS)|
|7. Brooke Simpson||Singer||Moved On|
|8. Rialcris||Acrobatic Trio||Moved On|
|9. Chapkidz||Dance Group||Moved On|
|10. Storm Large||Singer||Eliminated (JC)|
|11. Klek Entos||Magician||Eliminated|
|12. World Taekwondo Demonstration Team||Martial Arts Group||Moved On|
Main article: Season 16 Semifinals
From the 22 Semifinalists, 11 acts performed each week over two weeks. Each week, 5 acts moved onto the Finals.
The contestants that came in fourth, fifth, and sixth place in America's Vote fought for votes online in the Instant Save. The act who received the most votes earned a spot in the Finals. The judges voted between the two remaining acts the last spot of the week in the Finals.
|1. Peter Rosalita||Singer||Eliminated|
|2. Michael Winslow||Voicetramentalist||Eliminated (JC)|
|3. Beyond Belief Dance Company||Dance Group||Eliminated|
|4. Aidan Bryant||Aerialist||Moved On|
|5. Tory Vagasy||Singer||Eliminated|
|6. World Taekwondo Demonstration Team||Martial Arts Group||Moved On (JC)|
|7. Madilyn Bailey||Singer||Eliminated|
|8. Dustin Tavella||Magician||Moved On|
|9. Korean Soul||Vocal Harmony Group||Eliminated|
|10. Gina Brillon||Stand-Up Comedienne||Moved On|
|11. Jimmie Herrod||Singer||Moved On (SS)|
|1. 1aChord||Vocal Trio||Eliminated|
|2. UniCircle Flow||Unicycle Group||Eliminated (JC)|
|3. Léa Kyle||Quick Change Artist||Moved On (SS)|
|4. Kabir Singh||Stand-Up Comedian||Eliminated|
|5. Northwell Health Nurse Choir||Choir||Moved On|
|6. Peter Antoniou||Mentalist||Eliminated|
|7. Victory Brinker||Opera Singer||Moved On (JC)|
|8. Chapkidz||Dance Group||Eliminated|
|9. Rialcris||Acrobatic Trio||Eliminated|
|10. Josh Blue||Stand-Up Comedian||Moved On|
|11. Brooke Simpson||Singer||Moved On|
Main article: Season 16 Finals
|1. Jimmie Herrod||Singer||Top 10|
|2. Léa Kyle||Quick Change Artist||5th Place|
|3. Victory Brinker||Opera Singer||Top 10|
|4. Gina Brillon||Stand-Up Comedienne||Top 10|
|5. World Taekwondo Demonstration Team||Martial Arts Group||Top 10|
|6. Aidan Bryant||Aerialist||2nd Place|
|7. Brooke Simpson||Singer||4th Place|
|8. Dustin Tavella||Magician||Winner|
|9. Josh Blue||Stand-Up Comedian||3rd Place|
|10. Northwell Health Nurse Choir||Choir||Top 10|
- This is the first season:
- since Season 8 to premiere in June.
- since Season 7 to air more than seven audition episodes.
- to be sponsored by Sonic, breaking the 6-year streak of Dunkin' Donuts sponsoring the show.
- to have six golden buzzers in the auditions.
- In this case, the final Golden Buzzer was given by the host and judges all at once.
- since Season 1 to not have a dedicated bootcamp round as well as have a quick change act in the finals.
- to have a Golden Buzzer act withdraw from the competition before the live shows.
- to have a wildcard show since Season 7.
- to have Simon vote for a variety act over a singer in the Judges' Choice in the main series.
- to have more than one Golden Buzzer act contest for the Instant Save.
- to have four comedians advance to the Semifinals.
- to have all Golden Buzzer acts advance to the Finals (of course barring the withdrawn Nightbirde).
- since Season 13 to not have a Golden Buzzer act be crowned the season winner after the buzzer's upgraded format in Season 10.
- since Season 2 to not have any of the top 3 perform last at any point in the live shows.
- Unlike previous seasons, the Instant Save was not named after the shows corresponding sponsor (Season 9 named it the "Snapple Save" while Seasons 10-15 named it the "Dunkin Save"). This season, it is referred to as the "Instant Save" rather than the "Sonic Save".
- This season had the most amount of acts buzzed in the live shows since Season 7 and the most amount of buzzes in the live shows since Season 10.