The former Strictly Come Dancing judge didn't seem to understand the rules regarding when to push the buzzer that sends a favourite act straight through to the final, or how many times he was allowed to do it.
But after Tonioli chose two favourite acts, he sparked a trend and now Simon Cowell has sent a second act to the semi-finals as well.
Here are all the 2023 Golden Buzzer acts and which judges chose to put them through.
Ghetto Kids | Bruno Tonioli (1)
New judge Tonioli was first to hit the Golden Buzzer this series — in the middle of dance act Ghetto Kids — showering them with confetti while they were still performing.
The children carried on dancing impressing the audience and the other judges with their enthusiastic and confident performance.
Cowell told him afterwards: "We're supposed to wait and have a discussion about it."
Ghetto Kids — made up of children aged five to 13 from Uganda — were founded in 2014 and previously named Triplets Ghetto Kids.
Daouda Kavuma created the group composed of children from the Katwe slum in Kampala, Uganda. They rose to popularity in 2014 when they posted a video dancing to Eddy Kenzo’s Sitya Loss, which was viewed over eight million times.
Malakai Bayoh | Simon Cowell (1)
Tonioli was moved to tears by 13-year-old Bayoh's peformance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu.
But it was Cowell who eventually hit the Golden Buzzer for him, saying "One of the best voices I think I’ve ever heard, this is amazing… It was like being in heaven."
Bayoh made his debut performance at the Royal Opera House in 2022, singing the role of Oberto in Handel’s Alcina. Later that year his duet of O Holy Night with Aled Jones went viral online.
Chicken Shed | Alesha Dixon
The inclusive theatre group from North London moved Dixon with their singing and dancing routine to Wonder by Naughty Boy ft. Emeli Sande.
She told them: "I love every single thing that you stand for and represent. Inclusivity is so important, everybody feeling represented and you do that in abundance. You’re giving young people this incredible opportunity and platform and I don’t know what’s more important than that."
Chicken Shed was founded in 1974, and performed at Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002.
Olivia Lynes | Amanda Holden
Amanda Holden was filmed surprising the 13-year-old on a trip to the theatre after she was secretly nominated by her mother and grandmother to audition for the show.
Lynes blew the judges away with her big voice singing Defying Gravity from musical Wicked.
Holden pushed her buzzer said: "I wasn’t expecting to do that. I always go on how I feel in my heart. And everybody was on their feet and you truly deserve that moment Olivia. I feel so proud of you."
MB14 | Ant and Dec
While they don't have a say in the other judging decisions, hosts Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly get to choose one Golden Buzzer act themselves since it was introduced in series eight.
This year they chose French beatboxer MB14, real name Mohamed Belkir.
All the judges were impressed by his performance and the crowd began chanting "Golden Buzzer".
Ant said: "We like him a lot," and Dec agreed "That was SO good", before they can on stage and took control of the Golden Buzzer.
MB-14 has toured France and in 2022 starred in French movie Tenor, about a delivery boy who trains to become an opera singer.
Gamal John | Bruno Tonioli (2)
Tonioli broke the rules after the 36-year-old singer performed It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World by James Brown.
The flamboyant Italian judge said: "I am speechless, no words can express how well you sang that song," before pressing his Golden Buzzer a second time.
Cowell joked he could get Tonioli fired, but admitted: "I think all of us were thinking the same thing."
As there were no official Golden Buzzers left John didn't get covered in confetti until Ant and Dec ran on and shot confetti canons at him.
Unity | Simon Cowell (2)
Inclusive dance troupe Unity received a standing ovation for their performance to Wrabel's The Village.
Combined with video footage of their individual members, the group of college classmates aged 16 to 25, highlighted what made them different, and yet stood united by dance.
As the audience again chanted "Golden Buzzer" Cowell said: "We don't have any Golden Buzzers left… but sometimes I feel you should break the rules."!
When he hit the Golden Buzzer the stage was showered with confetti.
Watch: Alesha Dixon wants to make Kids' Got Talent