The season finale of America’s Got Talent is here!
“What I’ve learned about being a part of this show is the fact that talent is ageless, genderless and it’s for everyone,” says Hough, 31, adding that the show is “so inclusive and allows people to be fully expressed.”
Hough, who rose to fame on Dancing with the Stars as a winner and judge, continues, “I’m very grateful.”
Union, 46, and Hough replaced longtime AGT judges Mel B and Heidi Klum this season. Host Terry Crews took over for Tyra Banks.
Calling this past season “so incredible,” Hough gives a special shout-out to the child contestants.
“There’s a lot of amazing young kids that are not just talented, but they have this mission and message behind what they are trying to say with their talent,” she says.
Meanwhile, Union describes her first-time as an AGT judge as “emotional.”
“It’s emotional for me to watch people come so close to their dreams coming true and being so close. Seeing their faces contort and anguish in pain, I don’t like it. I don’t find that entertaining,” she says.
Union, who welcomed daughter Kaavia in November 2018, is especially inspired by her Golden Buzzer choice, singer Kodi Lee, who is blind and was diagnosed with autism.
“Hopefully, it’s going to be a little easier for parents with special needs children to get the resources that they need,” the L.A.’s Finest actress says of Kodi being an example to others. “All of them can get the chance for their dreams to come true and for them to reach their fullest potential.”
As for the two-part finale, Hough explains what is “going to separate people” in the last round of the competition.
“There’s one thing if you come out and you have a great voice or you do a great trick. But if you have a purpose and reason behind what you are doing, that is ultimate success with fulfillment,” she says. “If you don’t, it’s not sustainable.”
Competing in the finals are dance troupe V. Unbeatable (guest judge Dwyane Wade‘s Golden Buzzer choice), opera singer Emanne Beasha (guest judge Jay Leno’s Golden Buzzer choice), the Detroit Youth Choir (Crews’ Golden Buzzer choice), comedian Ryan Niemiller and quartet Voices of Service.
Also in the finals are singer Kodi Lee (Union’s Golden Buzzer), violinist Tyler Butler-Figueroa (Cowell’s Golden Buzzer choice), dance troupe Light Balance Kids (guest judge Ellie Kemper’s Golden Buzzer choice), singer Benicio Bryant and Ndlovu Youth Choir.
America’s Got Talent airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on NBC.