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'America's Got Talent' announces second annual YouTube auditions

by jmaloni
Thu, May 5th 2011 05:15 pm

NBC's "America's Got Talent" and its producers have re-partnered with YouTube to allow talented acts from across the country the opportunity to audition online for their shot at stardom and a million-dollar prize, it was announced today by Paul Telegdy, executive vice president of alternative programming at NBC and Universal Media Studios. Much like season five finalist Jackie Evancho, who became a worldwide singing sensation after her online submission led to her competing on the No. 1-rated summer series, hopefuls once again can audition online by submitting their auditions via YouTube.

Powered by YouTube, beginning May 5 through June 9, acts of all ages can upload their audition videos via the "America's Got Talent" Audition App, or at www.youtube.com/americasgottalent, or at nbc.com/agt, as well as the "America's Got Talent" Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/nbcagt. Following the June 9 deadline, producers will select 20 acts for the YouTube community to view and vote for their favorites. The No. 1 YouTube act with the most votes will automatically gain a place on the YouTube-branded quarterfinal broadcast episode.

This season, "America's Got Talent" has taken the online audition element to the next level, allowing submissions via a new iPhone and Android app, which gives potential acts the opportunity to submit audition videos from their handheld devices. This first-of-its-kind competition show app allows these users to record and upload a video directly to YouTube and submit it as an official "America's Got Talent" audition.

"With a flip of the hand, this process throws a wider net across America," said Telegdy. "You Tube brought us Jackie Evancho for season five, and with greater accessibility and ease provided by the audition app, there's no telling what amazing talent will surface next."

"We are delighted to work with NBC's digital marketing team and YouTube to put this ground-breaking audition experience directly in the hands of the contestants," said Olivier Delfosse, vice president of interactive, mobile and digital content for FremantleMedia Enterprises. "Jackie's success is a great testament to the power of social media, and proves that winning 'America's Got Talent' is within anyone's reach."

The YouTube auditions were especially notable last season when then unknown 10-year-old vocalist Evancho placed first in the inaugural online contest. She went on to advance to the Top 10, where she performed "Pie Jesu" by Andrew Lloyd Webber (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ar0r02FZng), and her YouTube audition has since garnered more than 3.7 million views. After the finale, she signed a recording deal with Columbia Records. Her first album, "O Holy Night," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard chart and No. 1 in the U.S. Classical Album Chart, selling more than 1.5 million copies in 2010 and making her the top-selling debut artist in the U.S. that year, as well as the youngest female solo artist to have a platinum selling record and debut in the Top 10.

That same season, the YouTube-themed shows hit a three-week high in total viewers to rank as the No. 1 telecast of the night, averaging 10.5 million persons, and the season finale set a series record with 16.4 million viewers.

For more information, visit nbc.com/americas-got-talent/,twitter.com/nbcagt and facebook.com/nbcagt.

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