Nikolas Sprunt
Published in

Nikolas Sprunt

America’s Got Talent Winners Case Study

The Project

On this project, we were to discover common patterns and trends among the previous winners that might help them understand the type of contestants America favors.

Here are some terms that we used and how we used them for this project:

Niche/uniqueness: Something that sets them apart from everyone else within their field of talent.

Standing Ovations: If the audience and/or the judges give them a standing ovation.

Shock Value: When the judges are not expecting much from a contestant then get blown away by their performance.

We discovered certain patterns and trends among winners that could help NBC discover what America wants. The biggest factor is that each winner had their own niche. Each winner had a very specific kind of act. Not a single singer was just a singer. No comedian was just a comedian. They all had something that made them stick out even within their field of talent. With that being said, let’s look at some of the patterns and trends that made these winners stick out.


First off, each winner had their niche.

• The singers either sang a genre that is not mainstream or they played an instrument.

• Comedians were typically not only ventriloquists but singing ventriloquists.

• Magicians had stage presence and always included either the judges or the host in the performance.

There were certain signifiers in the audition rounds that we discovered as well.

• Nearly all of them received standing ovations.

• All of them had a likable personality, and many of them had touching backstories.

• The vast majority of them are male.

• The only female winners were under the age of 15.

• More than 75% came from either the northeast or the central United States.


There are certain patterns that only lasted for a short amount of time.

• Out of the first six winners, five of them were singers.

• Magicians have been more popular in recent years.

• Other than Grace Vanderwaal, a singer has not won in the past seven seasons.

• Two out of the last three contestants have been girls under the age of 13.

• Four out of the five most recent winners are under the age of thirty while the average for the show is 32.

Our Process

• First, we took a look at each winner and checked for characteristics such as age, gender, talent, and where they are from. Patterns that stood out were most winners are from the central states or the northeast, a good majority of the winners are men, and musicians dominated the first six years of the show.

• After that, we went through all of the winners’ audition videos to find commonalities among winners. Here is the raw data we discovered.

• One of the first things we noticed is that three out of the five winners during the period of the Golden Buzzer ended up receiving golden buzzers.

• We also noticed that each winner had a uniqueness/niche about them and their talent. The musicians sang genres that are not popular today like opera and Jazz or played an instrument, the comedians were all ventriloquists and two out of three of them sang as part of their act, both of the magicians had a strong stage presence and included either the judges or the host in their performances, the one dancer incorporated martial arts into their performance and had a very robotic style, and the Olate dogs act was extremely unique altogether.

• Another indication of a winner during the audition rounds is a standing ovation. Every single winner received a standing ovation from the crowd and nearly every time by the judges.

• The last indication we thought was huge is the shock factor. More than half of the contestants seemed to be perceived by the judges as someone who would not do well. Those winners ended up shocking the judges and got standing ovations from the crowd.

If I Had More Time…

There are many more factors I would like to test to make my research even more solid such as watching all performances from each winner, looking at the runner-ups from each season as well, and checking the audition locations to see if our data on winners by location is affected by NBC going to certain regions more often than others.


As far as we know so far, we feel confident in saying that young women in their teens have a higher chance of winning than other women, musicians have a higher chance of winning overall although a current trend is not in favor of musicians, a winner will have a niche within their field of expertise, and men between the ages of 25 to 35 have an upper hand as well.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store