As has already been stated, AGT as a whole is far from infallible. The series continues to falter in terms of judging and editing, and has, despite having always dominated the ratings in the past, given itself to implementing unusual gimmicks that would usually be reserved for a series when it is otherwise faulting.
New this season is the golden buzzer, a button that each judge may now press once per season to automatically pass an act which received two or more votes of "no" from the others and would have been eliminated.
The golden buzzer has already been used by Howard Stern. On an act called Dustin's Dojo.
AGT also continues to suffer with its editing, chief among them being what it considers to be its priorities.
Priority #1, it goes without saying, should be the talent, yet a fair amount of airtime was instead devoted to showcasing the lack thereof. A great deal of attention was given to a landscaper who believed he had gift for music, and later to a mime that turned out to be Nick Cannon pulling a prank on the judges.
By themselves, these might have been seen as harmless fun. But during the same episode in which these were showcased in great detail, acts that passed into Vegas Week were shown only in brief snippets without even their names being given.
This is a problem that carried over from the year before, even in spite of AGT having endured criticism when the groups they just barely gave any attention to were included in the Top 60.
AGT also devoted a substantial amount of time to following the judges around behind the scenes, during which even the judges themselves often appeared bored.
This also created a problem in terms of pacing. With so much time devoted to things other than talent, the episode felt unjustifiably long.
Yet in spite of these obvious flaws, AGT continues to dominate in the ratings, for the simple reason that it literally is the one and only venue for fresh and original talent, which AGT continues to have no trouble attracting to its audition sights.
Along with the aforementioned strongman act, Season 9 already boasts a pair of dancers who incorporated shadow projections and a hand-balancer who gradually stacked up his balancing polls all the way up behind the judges' Xs.
So if AGT can dominate in the ratings as it did even in spite of all of these obvious flaws, imagine how high they would be without them.