ABOUT SEASONS / Season 4

America's Got Talent Season 4

SEASON 4 - 2009

The fourth season of America's Got Talent, an American television reality show talent competition, premiered on the NBC network on June 23, 2009 and started broadcasting live on August 4, 2009. Country singer Kevin Skinner was named the winner on September 16, 2009. This season is the first season to be broadcast in high definition.

This season's host was Nick Cannon, who replaced Jerry Springer. All Season 3 judges returned for the fourth season, despite rumors that Sharon Osbourne would be leaving the show. Season 4 was David Hasselhoff's final season as a judge.

Season 4 carries over Season 3's audition process. Out of the over 160 acts that passed through the preliminary auditions, 48 went on to perform in the live shows. This season, the callbacks were renamed "The Vegas Verdicts". Unlike previous seasons, the acts were not given a chance to perform a second time, unless prompted by the judges to as a challenge.

The judges re-watched audition tapes and created a Top 40 based on the acts' preliminary performances, similar to the format used on sister show Britain's Got Talent. However, it was revealed during the first performance show that the judges, when prompted by executive producer Simon Cowell, called back eight acts that they previously had cut. This brought the total number of acts up to 48.

Last season, the acts who passed through were divided into four groups, who performed over the course of two weeks with the acts who passed through from the previous night being announced before the next group of acts' performances. This year, each group in the Top 48 was divided into four groups of 12, but only one group performed per week, as a separate results show for the group aired the next day. This season was the first to feature results episodes lasting one hour on a weekly basis since Season 1.

Auditions

Auditions for this season were held in more than nine major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Miami, Tacoma, Boston and Houston. Los Angeles Auditions kicked off the January 29–31 tour at the Los Angeles Convention Center, followed by the February 7–8 Atlanta Auditions. New York and Miami Auditions were held during March. Tacoma Auditions were held April 25 and 26. In addition to live auditions and the ability to send in a home audition tape, season four offered the opportunity for acts to upload their video direct to NBC.com/agt with their registration.

Las Vegas Week

Las Vegas Week aired on July 28, 2009 and July 29, 2009. Over the course of the two episodes, the over 160 acts that made it through the preliminary rounds were narrowed down to a Top 40 that made it through to the live performance rounds.

In the first episode of the "Las Vegas Verdicts", as Cannon referred to it, the episode started off with 25 of the 160 acts being eliminated right at the Las Vegas Airport. The remaining acts were then briefly shown enjoying the sights of Vegas, before the eliminations resumed. Acts were brought before the judges and informed of their fate. In the second episode, the remainder of the Top 40 was revealed, and many more acts were eliminated. At the end of the second episode, Simon Cowell, executive producer of the show, called the judges on their flight back to Los Angeles, stating that he was unhappy with some of the eliminations the judges made. Cowell revealed that there was just "too much talent" eliminated, and that he felt that a number of these acts should be given another chance. As a result, two wild card acts performed each week along with the ten already scheduled to perform, expanding the Top 40 to the Top 48.

Quaterfinals

The quarterfinals began on August 4, 2009. Twelve acts (ten of the original Top 40, plus two wildcards) performed each week. A two-hour performance episode each Tuesday was followed by a one-hour results show the following day, where five of the twelve acts from the previous night remained in the competition. When an act got buzzed by all three judges, they must stop, unlike in the previous seasons, where at this stage acts were allowed to continue despite being buzzed by all judges. A large X appeared on the screen on stage, indicating the act had been struck out by the judges. Viewers were still able to vote for the buzzed act. The judges' choice, however, remained, as the judges got to decide whether the contestant who placed either in fifth or sixth place got to advance to the next round.

Top 20

The Semifinals began on September 1, 2009. The process on stage is identical to that of the Quarterfinals, except there are no longer any new wild card acts.

In the semi-finals, the twenty acts who passed through the quarter-finals were divided into groups of 10. One of these groups performed each week, with a performance episode followed by the results the following day. Only four acts were supposed to pass through to the finals each week. Three are determined solely by viewers' votes, but the fourth and fifth place acts must face the judges' decision. However, in one case, the judges passed through both performers, as they could not make a decision. In the other case, the top five acts were passed through. Instead of previous seasons, where the finals contain four or five acts, this season the finale contained ten acts.

Finals

The finale performances aired on Monday, September 14, 2009, 2 hours. The finale results aired on Wednesday, September 16, 2009, 2 hours, and included guest performances from Thelma Houston, Shakira, Rascal Flatts, cast members of Cirque Du Soleil, Leona Lewis, and runner-up of the third series of Britain's Got Talent, Susan Boyle. These acts were all highly praised by critics. The performances episode averaged 13.84 million viewers, and the finale averaged 15.5 million viewers.

On September 16, 2009, country music singer Kevin Skinner was named the season's winner. The grand prize was one million dollars and a 10-week headline show at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

FINALISTS

WINNER

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org