America's Got Talent named their official winner Wednesday night, but anyone who's been on Facebook or YouTube recently probably could've predicted this winner. It was...
The 12-year-old VanderWaal, who's garnered millions of views online for each of her performances of original folksy tunes, won the million dollar prize and headlining show in Las Vegas. Upon hearing her name announced, she burst into tears. "How does it feel? These are tears of joy, right?" asked host Nick Cannon. "Yes, of course," she said between sobs.
But not before a two-hour finale filled with product placement, video packages of judge antics, live performances and a slow elimination of finalists. The first five eliminated were: Tape Face, Linkin Bridge, Sofie Dossie, Laura Bretan and Viktor Kee. The final five finished this way: 5. Sal Valentinetti 4. Brian Justin Crum VanderWaal 3. Jon Dorenbos 2. The Clairvoyants 1. VanderWaal
And now for some show highlights:
Sal Valentinetti, the Italian pizza delivery boy with a booming Frank Sinatra-esque voice, joined the cast of Jersey Boys to sing December 1963 (Oh, What a Night).
Teenage opera singer Laura Bretan, glowing-ball juggler Viktor Kee and young contortionist Sofie Dossie took part in a performance with Italian pop group Il Volo.
A shakier-than-normal VanderWaal sang her viral audition song, I Don't Know My Name. Nerves or not, it was obviously awesome.
Stevie Nicks sang Landslide, and we thought WanderWaal was going to join her... but that didn't happen. "(Grace) reminds me a lot of me," said Nicks.
Shape-shifting dancers The Sillhouettes from AGT Season 6 (they took second – they're amazing) danced along to singing group Linkin Bridge's rendition of Lukas Graham's 7 Years.
A pretaped segment showed the judges talking about their big breaks, from the first time they did stand up (Howie Mandel) to when they won a modeling competition (Heidi Klum).
Psychics The Clairvoyants brought Paula Abdul onstage for a lottery ticket trick, and NFL player/magician Jon Dorenbos also used her for his card trick. She was an adorable assistant, but had trouble reading numbers for a trick without her glasses.