Julianne Hough hyped up tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent, the final night of auditions, on Twitter on Tuesday, promising fans that tonight’s episode will be the one in which fans finally get to see her use the famed Golden Buzzer.
Hough joined the stalwart NBC summer reality show this year, along with Gabrielle Union, replacing Mel B and Heidi Klum, both of whom left the show — amicably, it bears noting — to work on other projects. Hough and Union join producer Simon Cowell and longtime judge Howie Mandel at the judges’ table.
WARNING: the remainder of this article contains open spoilers for episodes of Season 14 of America’s Got Talent that have already aired.
So far this season, fans have gotten to see the Golden Buzzer — which allows a contestant to go directly through to the live rounds (rather than facing the harrowing judges’ cuts), and was introduced five seasons ago — four times. Gabrielle Union used it first, on autistic singer and pianist, Kodi Lee. Howie Mandel used it on 21-year-old singer and rapper, Joseph Allen. Simon Cowell used his on 11-year old violinist, Tyler Butler-Figueroa, and host Terry Crews used his on the Detroit Youth Choir.
In the most recent new episode, “Auditions 5,” which aired on June 25, there was an “accidental” Buzzer of sorts, when Australian burlesque dancer Ben Trigger danced on the judges’ table and rolled over the button that activates the Golden Buzzer. While the audience roared in laughter, Crews and the judges were quick to remind Trigger that the Buzzer didn’t count. He was, however, put through to the next round.
Hough, who admitted in an early episode that she was still feeling her way around the process and was unsure on when it would be best to use the Golden Buzzer, has yet to use hers. However, she told fans on Tuesday that tonight will be the night fans see her use it.
Of course, it’s not clear on whom Julianne used the buzzer; that’s something that will be revealed tonight.
After tonight’s episode come two episodes of judges’ cuts. That’s where the judges winnow down the list of people who they put through to the next round into a manageable number of contestants. Golden Buzzer winners are fortunate to not have to endure this part of the process.
After the two judges’ cuts episodes, scheduled for July 16 and July 23, America’s Got Talent will be live for the remainder of the season, and viewers will be able to vote on who goes through to the later stages of the reality competition. It remains unclear, as of this writing, when the first live competition episode will air.