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‘America’s Got Talent’ show closing on Strip

Updated March 11, 2024 - 12:49 pm

Simon Cowell’s dream of delivering a live variety show to the Strip is closing this spring.

“America’s Got Talent Presents Superstars Live” is hauling out of its Luxor Theater on May 11. The show opened in November 2021.

A statement Sunday afternoon from hotel operator MGM Resorts International referred to the 2½-year run as “wonderful” while announcing the end of the show:

“It has been an honor to collaborate with the AGT team to bring the talent from one of television’s most exciting competition shows to the Las Vegas Strip and we hope to work together again in the future. We have loved being home to these world-class entertainers and wish all of these incredible performers the best of luck as they continue their careers. We’ll be proudly cheering them on.”

Such “AGT” champs and alumni as pianist-singer Kodi Lee, the dance troupe Light Balance, rapping magician Mervant Vera, mentalist Aaron Crow, aerialist-sword swallower Herwan Legaillard, Pack Drumline percussion team, puppet act Pandersonium, comedy act Human Fountains are in the current cast.

But even with a robust collection of talent, the “AGT” spin-off was essentially competing with its own success for tickets in Las Vegas. Such former champions and finalists as Terry Fator, Shin Lim, Mat Franco, Piff the Magic Dragon and Tape Face are all currently headlining on the Strip.

There has been no word on how the Luxor Theater will be utilized after “AGT” closes. Over the years room has hosted Blue Man Group, a brief run of “Hairspray,” a rotation of headliners, and both of Criss Angel’s productions before partnering with Cowell and Fremantle Media and Cowell’s Syco Entertainment.

Along with a $1 million cash award, headlining slot in the Vegas show has been a prize for an “AGT” champion act since the live production was launched. But not every champ has appeared at Luxor.

The Mayyas, the 36-member, all-female, Lebanese dance troupe that won season 17, was never featured in the show. Reps for the production only said they still wanted Mayyas in Vegas and hoped their appearance could be worked out.

And, the dog act Adrian Stoica and Hurricane, champions of season 18, didn’t appear in the Vegas production. They were expected to join the “AGT” cast over the holiday season.

The live production missed a shot at cross-promotion with the TV show when ideas of taping the auditions at Luxor never came off.

Instead, the show has called it.

In November ‘21, Cowell spoke of “AGT’s” impact on Vegas, and the city’s popularity among contestants.

“We have seen the success of the show on billboards in Las Vegas for years,” Cowell said during an appearance at Luxor Theater. “What we are looking for in our contestants is, obviously, talent and vision. I think what we’ve realized now, with Vegas, that’s really the USP (unique selling proposition) of the show right now. It’s a fantastic prize, to perform in Vegas. I’d say 90 to 95 percent of the contestants who are entered in the show want to end up in Vegas.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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