Five Boston area contestants will compete on NBC’s first-ever “America’s Got Talent: The Champions,’’ featuring “Got Talent’’ franchise winners from around the globe.
The new midseason spin-off, premiering Jan. 7, boasts something of an Olympics-like vibe, with a field of 50 past winners, memorable acts and fan favorites from Scotland to South Africa, Belgium to Brazil.
Waltham magician and Season 13 “AGT’’ winner Shin Lim, and Season 9 favorites, the Boston-based quartet Sons of Serendip, are among those battling it out on the first international version of the reality-talent show, hosted by Terry Crews.
The contestants, including “Britain’s Got Talent’’ sensation Susan Boyle, will aim to impress judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B, and Howie Mandel.
Since becoming the show’s most recent $1 million winner in September, Lim, 27, headlined the “America’s Got Talent Live’’ stage show in Las Vegas before joining “The Illusionists’’ on Broadway.
“At first I was hesitant [to join ‘Champions’] because I was exhausted,’’ the Acton-Boxborough Regional High School grad said with a chuckle.
“Then I said, you know what? This is such an amazing opportunity because this show has never been done before — all the winners from all over the world, coming together.’’
Of course some, such as Boyle and Sons of Serendip, weren’t winners but show favorites.
Sam Donnelly, “AGT’’ executive producer, explained in a written statement that when selecting acts, “we of course looked to previous winners [but also] acts that resonated exceptionally well . . . such as singer Susan Boyle. . . . And finally, we wanted to bring back acts that demonstrated exceptional talent.’’
Five years ago, four Boston University alumni — vocalist Micah Christian, pianist and guitarist Cordaro Rodriguez, harpist Mason Morton, and cellist-composer-vocalist Kendall Ramseur — teamed up on a lark to audition for “AGT,’’ just weeks before the season started.
The gospel/classical/neo-soul/R&B quartet Sons of Serendip didn’t win $1 million — but came close, placing fourth, and became judges’ darlings during the Season 9 run.
The musicians earned a fan following for their renditions of beautiful songs — tear-jerkers —from Leonard Cohen to Bonnie Raitt.
After they performed Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know’’ for their final performance, then-judge Howard Stern told them, “You have pure raw talent.’’ Then-host Nick Cannon called them “amazing.’’
When it was announced they placed fourth, Mel B encouraged them: “You now have a platform to do whatever you want.’’
The Sons all quit their respective day jobs to build a band resume.
They performed at the Creative Arts Emmys, opened for Jay Leno at a Connecticut gig, performed with the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. They released three albums, charted in the Billboards, toured nationally.
“We’re really, really excited,’’ said Christian. “Because when you get off these shows, you say, ‘Oh man, if I could do it all over again . . .’ So to have the opportunity to go back where it all began, now that we’ve grown so much, is awesome,’’ said Christian.
“America’s Got Talent: The Champions’’ premieres Monday, Jan. 7, at 8 p.m. on NBC.