12 year old ventriloquist on america’s got talent

Terry Fator on Darci Lynne Farmer’s ‘America’s Got Talent’ Win: ‘I Felt Like a Proud Dad’

Terry Fator had a dream—and as of a few days ago, he’s finally achieved it when 12-year-old ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer won America’s Got Talent and at the same time, stole the hearts of everyone across the nation. Because ever since the renowned ventriloquist (the only one, as far as we know, who can also sing and do impressions—the guy can impersonate more than 100 singers) determined ventriloquism was his calling at the age of 10, his life’s mission was ultimately to “influence the next generation.”

‘America’s Got Talent’ Winner Darci Lynne Farmer: Watch All of Her Performances

And that’s what he did. He mentored and coached Farmer through every step of the way behind the scenes at AGT—as an alumnus of the competitive reality show himself, having won 10 years earlier. Since his win, he’s garnered a fan base count somewhere in the millions, found a home in Vegas with an award-winning show “The Voice of Entertainment” at The Mirage, and was named in Forbes as one of the top-earning comedians.

On the heels of Farmer’s win, we got Fator on the phone who reminisced about his own America’s Got Talent run, along with what it was like to mentor Farmer, how he felt when she won, and how he’s changing people’s perceptions about ventriloquism.

First, let’s begin with how you got into ventriloquism.

I randomly decided to do it. It wasn’t like I saw it and thought, Ooh that looks like fun. I found a book in my school library and I always knew I wanted to be an entertainer. At first I was a magician and looked into singing and acting. And one day, I found this book when I was 10 years old and boy, it just looked like fun. One of the things that attracted me to it was that nobody else was doing it. That’s not true nowadays. A lot of people are doing it, but at the time, I was the only one doing ventriloquism. I liked that. I wanted to do something that no one else was doing, and I knew that this was what I wanted to for my career—I never faltered from that ever.

Did you have an idol? Or anyone you looked up to?

I look up to any good entertainer, any comedians—those are the ones that had the biggest influence on me. People, like Carol Burnett, Dick Van Dyke, Tim Conway, these were my idols. As far as ventriloquists are concerned, I’d have to go with Edgar Bergen, Jimmy Nelson, Shari Lewis, and Jay Johnson—these were the people who were popular when I was a kid. They’re the ones I watched. If it was a ventriloquist who influenced me, it was those guys, the ones who were always on TV all the time in the ‘70s and ‘80s.

Is it crazy for you now that you’re Darci Lynne Farmer’s idol?

That’s really surreal. That was also one of my dreams. One of my dreams was to be able to influence another generation and to also help coach people and encourage them. I had to do this on my own. I had nobody. It was just me. I didn’t have anything to do with the ventriloquist community or anything. There were very few books, so I had to figure everything out on my own. I would have loved to have been in Darci’s situation. She had a mentor who’s a professional ventriloquist since she was about 10. If I had that, then I could have progressed a lot faster, but it took me 20 years to learn what she did in two. But it’s surreal to think now I’m the idol of someone who won America’s Got Talent, and I won it 10 years ago. It’s so amazing and such an honor to be someone who influenced and inspired her—wow. It made me feel so good.

Congratulations to @itsdarcilynne for a well deserved win & thank you to @agt for bringing me back on the show where it all began. #AGTFinale

A post shared by Terry Fator (@terryfator) on Sep 21, 2017 at 9:14am PDT

Do you think she’s following in your footsteps?

I hope so. I would love to. Sky’s the limit. I want her to be successful, I want her to be more successful than me. There’s no jealousy. For me, it’s about the next generation. Sooner or later, it doesn’t matter how good you are, sooner or later, you have to pass the mantle onto somebody else. She’s 40 years my junior, so hopefully, when I’m ready to retire in 40 years , so when I’m 92 and I retire, she can take over.

What was it like meeting her? Were you following this season really closely?

They didn’t want to let this out until after the show, but she actually contacted me about a year ago and told me she wanted to go on the show and if I would help her. And I did—I was helping her the entire time, so every single week, I would meet with her, I would talk to her, give her advice, help her along. I wrote a lot of the material she did to make sure she had quality material. Talk about surreal—to be able to advise and write the material and have her win it.

What advice did you give her?

She would call me and ask for routines. I would write jokes and write routines for her. She didn’t use all the material. Some of the material was written by her, Gary Owen, and her dad. Most of it was stuff I wrote for her and she would do the routines and I would critique them. A couple of times, I would have me and one of my puppets do the routine for her on video to show her how to be more natural and how to look more professional.

But the credit really goes to her because you can only coach somebody as good as they are. The fact is, it’s her because when I would give her advice, I was amazed at how every single time, she would do it exactly the way I told her to do it. She’s so good at taking advice and I have to say, she was so grateful for the help. I wasn’t doing it for any other reason than to help her—I really wanted her to win. I was more nervous when I was watching her than when I was doing it myself. I was 100 percent positive I was not going to win, so there was no pressure. But I wanted her to win so badly. I thought she was going to win, but you never know with that show, because who knows what America’s going to do. Who are people going to vote for? Who knows.

All I can say is WOW, @itsdarcilynne. You were amazing on @AGT. You have my vote. #AGTFinals

A post shared by Terry Fator (@terryfator) on Sep 19, 2017 at 9:27pm PDT

What was your reaction when Tyra Banks announced that she was the winner?

I was holding my wife—we were hugging each other. She was crying while we were waiting. The pressure got to her. When Jerry Springer was announcing me, it took him 15 seconds for him to say who the winner was. This time, she waited 20 seconds. That is torture for a 12-year-old! I was 42 when I got mine, but 20 seconds! You will never know how long that feels. Fifteen seconds felt like an eternity for me, but I know that must have been torture for that poor girl. She was crying. And then, of course, Angelica, who’s 9, how can you do that to a couple of kids, but hey, it’s good TV.

I thought Angelica was so precious and had she won, she would’ve deserved it as well. The top two were exactly who should have been in the top two. But working with Darci—her talent is astounding. She’s one of the most talented human beings on the planet, so to be able to see that get validated at 12 years old, I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her. It took me a heck a lot longer to achieve that kind of notoriety, but I’m so proud of her. I felt like a proud dad.

When you were starting out, you said you were the only one—did it make you that much more challenging for you? Was it hard to get people to take you seriously?

Yes, 100 percent. It’s changing because of people like myself, like Darci, like some of the greats that are coming out. There are a lot of really good ventriloquists out there now. Paul Zerdin won two years ago. People consider ventriloquism a dying art and now, a quarter of the 12 winners on America’s Got Talent are ventriloquists. When I was starting out, I cannot tell you how hard it was to get anyone to take me seriously. Everyone would look at me and say, ‘Oh my kid would love that. You would be great for my kid’s birthday party.’ Well, actually, I was never a kid’s entertainer. I don’t do kid’s entertainment. But now, people are starting to realize ventriloquism can be a legitimate form of entertainment for all ages and not just for kids. I’ve had the top show in Vegas now for almost nine years as an evening headliner. No ventriloquist has ever done that before. There have been afternoon headliners, but I’m the only one that’s ever been able to sustain an evening show and keep it as one of the top shows.

For so long, there was a stigma attached to ventriloquism. You’re breaking the mold, changing people’s perceptions of what it can be.

It feels really good to be one of the ones who are changing that perception. I feel so good about that. I don’t even remotely begin to delude myself that I’m the only one because there are a lot of really good ventriloquists out there and those are the ones who are going to the ventriloquist convention and influencing the next generation as well. Every year I have a scholarship for two or three young ventriloquists who can’t afford to go to the convention. I have them send videos and I choose the two or three who I feel are the most worthy, who will learn the most and get the most out of it.

Why is ventriloquism so popular now? Do you think it’s because of America’s Got Talent?

No doubt about it. America’s Got Talent has completely changed everything for us. Not just for ventriloquism, but for everyone because I was in my 40s and really had no chance ever at all getting discovered. Ever. And then AGT came along and changed everything. It allowed me to have a national audience. It allowed me to get in front of millions of people, and what a difference does that make. I owe it all to America’s Got Talent. What an honor to be a part of the family. I’m just so thrilled.

America’s Got Talent ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer has done nothing but soar since winning the TV competition show in 2017. Apart from starting her own nationwide tour, which had to be extended because demand for tickets was so high, she’s now competing on the new spinoff America’s Got Talent: The Champions.

If all of that doesn’t wow you to the max already, these facts most certainly will:

Darci Lynne Farmer was painfully shy at first.

View this post on Instagram

Happy birthday to the amazing @officialmelb!! 🎁🎉 I hope you have the best day and Howie and Simon don’t get on your nerves on the show too much tonight! 😆

A post shared by Darci Lynne (@itsdarcilynne) on May 29, 2018 at 1:06pm PDT

It’s hard to believe that someone as natural of a performer as the 14-year-old was once struggling to sing in front of her own father.

“It was hard,” the singing ventriloquist told the Tampa Bay Times. “I wouldn’t talk to people. I would hide behind my mom. I wouldn’t look people in the eye.”

Still, her dad, Clarke, encouraged the Oklahoma native to keep belting it out around the house anyway. Both he and her mother, Misty, entered Darci into various pageants to help her develop more confidence. One pageant in particular though changed the course of Darci’s life forever. At the International Mini Miss pageant in Las Vegas, Darci won the competition for her age group thanks to her stellar vocals. It was here that she developed a friendship with the teenage winner, Laryssa Bonacquisti, who introduced her to the art of ventriloquism.

Her parents weren’t into her interest in ventriloquism.

After befriending Laryssa, Darci’s love of performing with puppets kept growing. After practicing in front of the mirror for a few weeks, Darci, nine years old at the time, begged her parents to get her a puppet.

“You’re a singer, not a ventriloquist,” was apparently the response Misty gave her daughter, according to Parade.

But she kept on persisting, and for her 10th birthday, Darci was given her very first ventriloquist puppet named Katie. After only two weeks, Darci began performing in local talent shows around her state. And then when she got wind of AGT auditions happening in Austin, Texas, she begged her parents to let her try out. And the rest, well, you know.

Darci Lynne’s net worth is $3 million, estimates Celebrity Net Worth.

Not at all bad for a 14-year-old. For winning season 12 of AGT, Darci was given a $1 million prize which helped jumpstart her piggy bank. Since then, she’s appeared in the TV series Little Big Shots and has been raking it in from performing all across the country.

View this post on Instagram

1 day left until I’m on @nbclittlebigshots! I can’t wait 😮 Who’s tuning in tomorrow?!

A post shared by Darci Lynne (@itsdarcilynne) on Apr 7, 2018 at 9:55am PDT

Her mom basically got a new a kitchen after she won.

When asked by multiple outlets about what she was going to do with the prize money, Darci Lynne knew exactly what she wanted.

“I am definitely going to give some to my church. Because they always raise money for different missions and mission programs,” she told ET. “And second, I have to give my mom a dishwasher because we definitely need more household appliances.”

Oh, and she added a personal wish to her list. “A puppy, a baby pug, I just want one so bad. I’m ready … I’m ready to take on the puppy life.”

While Darci has yet to get a furry friend (her mom told her in a Parade interview maybe after she’s done touring), Darci revealed that her mom was, in fact, given a full dishwasher … and much more.

“GE Appliances has agreed to give my mom a whole kitchen’s worth of new appliances and a washer and dryer,” she explained. Her mom, overwhelmed at the kind gesture, broke down crying when she heard the news.

She’s worked with AGT’s season 2 winner Terry Fator.

Both inspired by each other’s talent, Terry Fator ended up mentoring Darci behind the scenes during the competition. It all began when Darci reached out to Terry and had asked if he would give her some pointers. After accepting, the 53-year-old impersonator wrote a lot of the material she performed on stage, he told Billboard. He would meet with her every single week to talk her through it.

View this post on Instagram

Congratulations to @itsdarcilynne for a well deserved win & thank you to @agt for bringing me back on the show where it all began. #AGTFinale

A post shared by Terry Fator (@terryfator) on Sep 21, 2017 at 9:14am PDT

“One of my dreams was to be able to influence another generation and to also help coach people and encourage them,” he said. ” It’s so amazing and such an honor to be someone who influenced and inspired her — wow. It made me feel so good.”

Kayla Keegan News and Entertainment Editor Kayla Keegan covers all things in the entertainment, pop culture, and celebrity space for Good Housekeeping.

Darci Lynne Tickets

Darci Lynne tugged at America’s heartstrings when she competed in Season 12 of America’s Got Talent. Her initial performance of “Summertime” by Gershwin with her diva rabbit puppet, Petunia, earned her a fan, judge Mel B. She received a golden buzzer that sent her straight through to the quarterfinals. The performances to follow with puppet Edna Doorknocker singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and The Beatles’ “With A Little Help From My Friends,” helped Darci Lynne win the competition. She received a $1 million grand prize along with a headlining show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. With a record-breaking 306 million social media views of her America’s Got Talent performances, it’s easy to see why the Darci Lynne tour is a great show to see.

A Ventriloquist Who Speaks for Herself

Darci Lynne didn’t always command the stage as she does on her national tour. She remembers being very shy and hiding behind her parents whenever it came time for her to speak. However, her parents encouraged her to participate in contests and pageants to overcome her shyness. She’d already had a wonderful singing voice but was afraid to show it. The more pageants she participated in the more her confidence grew until she won her age bracket in the International Cinderella Scholarship Program. She was introduced to the art of ventriloquism by another winner of the same contest who inspired her to become a puppet master. Fortunately for Darci Lynne’s fans, her parents grew to support her new talent, which led to the amazing teenage ventriloquist who can have conversations with her puppets while they sing Italian opera arias.

Where can I buy Darci Lynne tickets?

You can buy your Darci Lynne tickets at StubHub, the world’s largest marketplace that gives you access to live events in more than 40 countries. When you purchase your tickets at StubHub, you get the FanProtect guarantee, ensuring your ticket purchase is secure.

What can I expect from a Darci Lynne performance?

Songs from the tour include “Summertime,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and Oscar the mouse singing “Who’s Lovin’ You.” You can also expect Darci Lynne and her puppet friends to cover hits like “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” by Etta James, “There Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,” an Italian opera aria, “O Mio Babbino Caro” and “We Are Family” from Sister Sledge.

Who are the puppets performing with Darci Lynne?

You’ll enjoy the beautiful singing and comedic interruptions of Petunia, a youthful, white bunny who’s insistent on being treated like a diva. There will also be Oscar the stuttering field mouse from Motown, Edna Doorknocker who stands out to fans from her crush on America’s Got Talent judge, Simon Cowell, and Katie the yodeling cowgirl.

What cities will Darci Lynne stop at on her tour?

Upcoming stops on the Darci Lynne tour include the Heinz Hall for the Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, Penn., the Robinson Center in Little Rock, Ark., the Murat Theater in Indianapolis, Ind. and the Edgewater Casino Resort in Laughlin, Nev.

Did Darci Lynne always want to be a ventriloquist?

It wasn’t until Darci won a pageant that she met another contestant who introduced her to the art form. Her parents weren’t enthusiastic about it at first but eventually caved in and got her a puppet for her 10th birthday.

Are there other performances similar to Darci Lynne’s show?

Enjoying the ventriloquist and comedic stylings of Darci Lynne will have you looking for other artists like her. Try taking in a show by the performers who inspired her, ventriloquists Terry Fator and Paul Zerdin.Back to Top

  • Name: Darci Lynne Farmer
  • Age: 15 years old
  • Height: 5ft 2in (158 cm)
  • Occupation: Ventriloquist
  • Net Worth: US $5 Million
  • Status: Alive

ORIGIN
Darci Lynne Farmer is an American ventriloquist/singer hailing from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her main puppets are Petunia, Oscar, Edna Doorknocker and Katie. She became a sensation after winning NBC’s America’s Got Talent at age 12. Her NBC TV special ‘My Hometown Christmas’ premiered in December 2018. Darci Lynne was born on October 12, 2004, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her parents are Misty and Clarke Farmer. 1 of 4 children, she has brothers Dalton, Nate and Nick. Darci Lynne attended Deer Creek Middle School. She took gymnastic lessons as a child.

Darci Lynne was drawn to singing and talent-based pageants at a young age. However, she was a very shy kid growing up. At the suggestion of her parents, she joined the International Cinderella Scholarship Program. She went on to win the International Mini Miss pageant. Darci Lynne met ventriloquist Laryssa Bonacquisti at the Mini Miss competition. She introduced her to ventriloquism and the rest was history. Darci Lynne was gifted her first puppet by her parents for her 10th birthday. She named it Katie.

CAREER
In 2014, Darci Lynne competed and won Edmond’s Got Talent. Her performance caught the attention of Gary Owen who later became her coach and business manager. In 2015, she won Oklahoma’s Got Talent, Oklahoma Kids and was named American Kids Entertainer of the year. Darci Lynne made her television debut on the series ‘Little Big Shots’ in March 2016. She performed at the Vent Haven International Ventriloquist Convention in July 2016.

In May 2017, Darci Lynne became a contestant on the NBC reality series America’s Got Talent. Her “Summertime” performance with puppet Petunia won over judges and viewers alike. Only 12 at the time, Darci Lynne was named winner of season 12. She won a cash prize and was given the opportunity to headline a show at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. Darci’s the 3rd female contestant ever to win AGT, following Bianca Ryan and Grace Vanderwaal. She’s also the 3rd ventriloquist winner, following Terry Fator and Paul Zerdin. The runner up for season 12 of AGT was singer Angelica Hale from Atlanta, Georgia.

Post AGT, Darci Lynne made a guest appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. She was featured in Jeff Dunham’s video “The Haunted House on Dunham Hill.” Her sold-out December homecoming show was hosted by iHeartMedia and KJ103. Darci Lynne’s last performance of 2017 was at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. She was accompanied by singer/songwriter Fergie.

Farmer kept fans entertained with her ‘Darci Lynne and Friends Live’ national tour. It ran from January 2018 to January 2019 (46 locations across the nation). In 2018, Darci appeared on television programs like The Today Show, Pickler & Ben, and Kids Baking Championship. She voiced the character “Daisy” for a December 2018 episode of Fancy Nancy.

Darcy Lynne starred in the NBC holiday special My Hometown Christmas (2018). The show featured guest appearances from Toby Keith, Lindsey Stirling and Pentatonix among others. Darci returned to the small screen in January 2019 as a contestant on America’s Got Talent: The Champions. Her second tour ‘Fresh Out of the Box’ will kick off in February 2019.

PERSONAL
Darci Lynne Farmer’s height is about 5ft 2in. Her net worth is estimated at $5 million. She won the $1 million cash prize as the winner of season 12 of America’s Got Talent. In addition to her sold-out tours, she sells a variety of merchandise (tees, hoodies, puppets and ornaments). Darci Lynne has 210K+ YouTube subscribers and 17+ million views. She has another 600K+ followers on Instagram and 85K+ on Twitter.

Darci Lynne Farmer Real Name, Birthday, Salary, Wiki

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Darci Lynne is an American famed star who is best known as ventriloquist. She came into limelight by winning the season 12 of the NBC competition show America’s Got Talent. When she was 11, also appeared on Little Big Shots UK and as well as appeared again in Little Big Shots UK 2017. She worked in the music based TV film “A Very Pentatonix Christmas” in 2017.

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Personal Information
Name Darci Lynne
Full Name Darci Lynne Farmer
Occupation/Profession TV Personality
Gender Female
Date of Birth 12 October, 2004
Age 15 years old
Birthplace Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States
Currently lives in Oklahoma City
Nationality American
Zodiac or Birth Sign Libra
Physical/Body Statistics
Darci Lynne Height in feet 5 feet 2 inches
Darci Lynne Height in meter 1.57 meter
Darci Lynne Height in centimeter 157 centimeter
Darci Lynne Overall Body Weight In Kilogram – 45 kg
In Pound – 99 lbs
Darci Body Type Straight
Body measurements N/A
Chest N/A
Waist N/A
Hips N/A
Shoes size 5
Hair Color Blonde
Eye Color Brown
Have tattoos? No
Education Information
Qualification? Schooling
Where she did her schooling? Deer Creek Middle School, Edmond, Oklahoma
Where she did her graduation? Not Known
Family Background
Have Parents ? Yes
Darci Mother Name Misty Farmer
Darci Father Name Clarke Farmer
Darci Brother’s Name Nick Farmer, Dalton Farmer and Nate Farmer
Darci Sister’s Name Not Available
Marital Status Unmarried
Children No
Dating/Affair History
Boyfriend Name Single and focusing on her career
Previous Dating? Unknown
Money Factor
Salary Per Episode/Movie Unknown
Net Worth US$ 8 million
Advertisement Fees Unavailable
Social Media Accounts
Instagram itsdarcilynne
Facebook itsdarcilynne
Twitter itsdarcilynne
Achievement
TV appearance TV Shows–

  • Today
  • Celebrity Page
  • Access Hollywood
  • Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
  • Entertainment Tonight
  • Extra
  • America’s Got Talent

Darci Lynne

Winning NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” at just 12-years old by the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show, singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer impresses audiences across the country with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable, show-stopping talent beyond her years. Accompanied by her musical friends including a divaesque rabbit: Petunia, a shy and soulful mouse: Oscar and a sarcastic old woman: Edna. Singing through her friends helped the young entertainer find a voice inside she didn’t know she had, and helped her overcome a lifelong struggle with shyness. An Oklahoma native, Darci began participating in talent-based pageants at a young age, and picked up ventriloquism shortly after.

Two weeks later, Darci began tackling talent shows, eventually making it to the biggest talent show on television, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Following her big win, she has been featured on NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” Food Network’s “Kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen” and “TODAY.” Her first Christmas special “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas” aired on NBC on December 11, 2018 and, in January 2019, Darci returned to the America’s Got Talent stage for AGT “The Champions” and won second place! Darci and her friends are continually on the road bringing smiles to audiences across the country and will be coming to a city near you in 2020.