The Golden Buzzer is a concept introduced in Season 9 of America’s Got Talent. Each referee may only press their golden buzzer once per season. In season 9, Golden Buzzer sent the performance to the next round regardless of the other judges’ votes; his main goal was to cut ties. In Season 10, Golden Buzzer was upgraded to send the performance straight to live performances. This method continues for the next few seasons. Beginning with Season 11, the host can use the Golden Buzzer to send the performance directly to live performances.
Season 16’s format is identical to Season 15’s, however this season, the judges and Terry as a group also had the power to give a Golden Buzzer to one action. Also, since the Judge Cuts round was canceled this season, no Golden Buzzers were awarded by the guest judges.
Howie Mandel pressed the season’s first Golden Buzzer Award for the Northwell Health Nursing Choir. Simon Cowell followed him, pressing the Nightbirde singer. Terry Crews insisted on taekwondo in the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team. Sofia Vergara pushed for singer Jimmy Herrod. Heidi Klum insisted on the French artist Lea Kyle. Finally, five participants presented the Golden Buzzer to 9-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker.
Nightbirde withdrew from the competition before the quarterfinals. None of the remaining members of Golden Buzzer were eliminated in either the quarter-finals or the semi-finals. The Northwell Health Nursing Choir, World Taekwondo Demonstration Group, Jimmy Herrod and Victory Brinker did not make the top 5, while Lea Kyle placed 5th.