‘America’s Got Talent’ Host Terry Crews Breaks Down His Golden Buzzer Pick

Terry Crews America's Got Talent
Art Streiber/NBC

Season 16 of America’s Got Talent is in full swing with its fan-favorite audition process and it’s made even better with the infectiously happy host Terry Crews.

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine actor continues to support the amazing and at times bizarre talent acts as they venture onto the AGT stage. And despite his near-constant exposure to the incoming hopefuls, Crews still finds himself in awe of their showstopping skills. After being so impressed by Season 16’s World Taekwondo Demonstration team, Crews utilized his one Golden Buzzer to help send them to the live rounds.

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Below, Crews opens up about the reason behind his Golden Buzzer pick, what it’s like working with a live audience following COVID-19 shutdowns, and more.

Your Golden Buzzer pick was very exciting. What inspired you to choose the World Taekwondo Demonstration team?

Terry Crews: The World Taekwondo Demonstration team proved that human beings could fly. I’ll have to say, it was like standing in a sawmill [there] was so much wood flying everywhere. And it didn’t stop, it kept getting better, and better, and better.

We’ve never seen anything like that, it was like watching a live film happen; everything you love about action movies and what action is, they did that on stage and it was poetic. You would think choreography is just involved in dance, but that was like a [different kind of] dance exhibition.

world taekwondo demonstration team terry crews

(Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

I had to give them the Golden Buzzer. My thing is I just wanted to ensure, no matter what the judges thought, I said, “I have to see these people in the lives,” so I was like, “Y’all could give them all X’s, but they’re going there anyway; they deserve it.”

You’ve also had the chance to host in front of a limited live audience this season. Is that even sweeter following last season’s COVID-19 safety measures?

What’s super sweet is just having everybody back together, because remember there was the time, we lost Heidi [Klum] as well; she didn’t have COVID, but because she was sick, we didn’t know what was going on. Heidi was out and then the audience went out, and then Simon [Cowell] went out, it was like, “Oh, my god.” But you know? What was so great is that we were like, “We are going to do this… it’s going to happen.”

And the difference this year is like, “My God, look at what we went through,” and the truth is that all adversity, once you survive it, once you can get through it makes you stronger. And I have a 32-year-old marriage that will attest to it. The only way you can get stronger is to survive it, and we did. And I was just so thankful when I saw the audience for the first time coming back out, and I am so looking forward to these live shows… I’m ready for the Dolby, I’m ready for all the pomp and circumstance that comes with hosting the number one talent show in the world.

America's Got Talent judges Terry Crews

(Credit: Trae Patton/NBC)

Speaking of that excitement. Is there anything you do behind the scenes to get in that hype-man mood you embody onstage?

Yeah, you know what I do? I literally tell them to, “Do what you were born to do.” People get on this thing and they feel like, “Oh, no, now things are different; this is much bigger.” It’s like, “No, no, it’s not. It’s truly the same… it’s like singing in the shower; you always sing good in the shower,” and you think you’re great, and you can sing and do your thing.” But [I tell them], “Go back to the shower when you’re out there; don’t ever think this is anything different because that’s where your best performance is; it’s when you forget the crowd; it’s when you’re so into what you’re doing that you totally are lost in your talent.”

I’ve watched it happen, I’ve seen enough talent by now to understand that the common theme is just to forget all the pressure and go back into what you were born to do; and when they do that, they’re always spectacular.

America’s Got Talent, Season 16, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC