Season 7 of America's Got Talent, premiered on May 14, 2012, and ended on September 13, 2012. Judge Piers Morgan left the show after Season 6 and was replaced by radio personality Howard Stern, as announced on his Sirius XM radio show on December 15, 2011. Because of Stern's commitments to his radio program, the live (post-Las Vegas) episodes moved from Los Angeles to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey. The show is broadcast in several timeslots throughout the season, initially showing on Mondays and Tuesdays, but later switching back to its original timeslot of Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Olate Dogs was announced as the winners of the season. Olate Dogs are the show's first non-singing act to win the competition.
Snapple is the official beverage sponsor of America's Got Talent. Its product was on the judges' table throughout the season.
After much confusion and rumors, it was officially announced that this was Sharon Osbourne's last season with the show.
Main article: Season 7 Episodes
Main article: Season 7 Acts
Main article: Season 7 Auditions
The live theater auditions took place in the following cities. The dates of the auditions are also shown.
- Los Angeles, California - February 16-17, 2012
- San Francisco, California - February 24-25, 2012
- St. Louis, Missouri - March 8-10, 2012
- Austin, Texas - March 17-18, 2012
- Tampa, Florida - April 3-4, 2012
- New York, New York - April 11-12, 2012
Las Vegas Round
Main article: Season 7 Vegas Round
The second round of competition, held in Las Vegas, aired from June 25–27, 2012, in a three-night special. The round was held at The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. 112 acts passed through from the audition rounds to Las Vegas Week, and competed for 48 slots in the live shows. Similarly to previous years, the judges divided the acts into two groups: the "Judges' Favorites" and "Standby Acts". In addition, six acts were either immediately eliminated, or sent directly to the next round of competition. The judges also had the option of eliminating an act immediately if they felt their performance in Las Vegas was well below par.
Main article: Season 7 Quarterfinals
The Quarterfinals began on Monday, July 2, 2012. This round includes the Top 48 acts which passed through Las Vegas Week, the acts that passed through the YouTube audition rounds, and a Wild Card show featuring previously eliminated quarterfinalists brought back by the judges.
Main article: Season 7 Semifinals
The semifinals began on August 28. 24 acts who advanced from the quarterfinals will be split into two groups, and perform in two consecutive weeks. Three acts advance each week to the finals.
Main article: Season 7 Finals
The two-night final aired on September 12-13, 2012, with six acts competing for the $1 million grand prize.
The acts performed in the following order:
- David Garibaldi and His CMYK's - "Performance painters; painted a portrait of Albert Einstein on a rotating canvas to "Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who. Additionally, the CMYK's painted the first letters of the colors they represent (cyan, magenta, yellow, and key black) on their own separate respective colored canvases."
- Tom Cotter - "Comedian; had host Nick Cannon roll a large plush die with various subjects on each side. Landing on "Poor Examples", he then performed a rapid-fire comedic routine about poor examples for children in classic children's literature."
- The Untouchables - "Dance troupe; performed a Jive routine to "Proud Mary" by Tina Turner."
- Joe Castillo - "Sand artist; drew host Cannon and judges Mandel, Osbourne, and Stern in the sand as a tribute to the show, with a live band performing the music."
- William Close - "Earth harpist and instrument builder; performed two reorchestrated versions of "Pachelbel's Canon" and "America the Beautiful" with his Earth Harp Collective."
- Olate Dogs - "Dog trick act; performed to "Hey Pachuco" by Royal Crown Revue, with a series of tricks including riding in a toy SUV, walking and jumping over hurdles on their hind legs, tumbling, walking on a wheel that was being pushed by another dog, backflips, and finally, two dogs walking wheelbarrow-style over the judges' table."
Notable past contestants
- Bria Kelly, who made it to the semifinals, later tried out for season 6 of The Voice, where she made it to the top 10 with R&B superstar Usher as her coach.