America's Got Talent has become one of the most popular talent competition shows and one of NBC's most successful, and a large part of it is due to its scale.
Viewers enjoy getting to witness auditions and performances that take place on grand stages in front of large audiences that can react in real time.
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However, while fans have gotten used to seeing the show switch from the big audition stage to the even bigger live shows, there will be an important change in that format for this season.
Unlike seasons of the past, season 17's live shows will take place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which is where the auditions have been taking place as well.
For seasons past, after auditions and judges' cuts wrap, the live finals have moved to the larger and iconic Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
However, the show will stick to their home theater for the live shows this season, which fans have become familiar with thanks to the many shots showcasing the spectacular venue during the audition episodes.
The show will be conducting live shows at the audition venue this season
AGT has been ramping up to an exciting set of live shows, with many acts being passed through to the second round, and six having received golden buzzers and becoming instant finalists.
Over the last few auditions, however, fans were saddened to see that source of humor and lightness Howie Mandel was absent from the judging panel.
The comedian had tested positive for Covid-19 at the time of filming and was absent for a pair of audition installments.
"Howie is not here today, we wish him the best and hope he gets well soon and gets right back in that chair," host Terry Crews said at the top of the episode, with audiences and judging panel alike expressing their disappointment as they trucked on.
Howie returned to the show halfway through the episode
He did return halfway through the episode for a different filming day, though, with his reunion played up for dramatic effect. "By the way, Howie, I've had days of misery without you," Simon Cowell joked.
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