The “America’s Got Talent” Season 9 finale turned out to be a two-hour star-studded affair that finally (finally!) gave us a winner. But the show was more like two shows: One that held performances and recap fillers, and one that got down to the business of eliminating five of the six remaining finalists (with a musical interlude one-third of the way through). But a winner we have.
All in all, it was an entertaining season finale, but, as Todd Betzold recapped at Reality Rewind Sept. 17, “two hours is a long time to sit through for some AGT results 2014 that could take one minute to announce!” But, hey, “America’s Got Talent” is the No. 1 show in the U. S. for the summer, so who can blame NBC for milking a few more advertising dollars out of their sponsors? Besides, it was a rather pleasant way to spend a couple hours waiting for the premiere of Debra Messing’s new show, “The Mysteries of Laura.”
So, to recap:
Pitbull got everything started, performing “Fireball,” his latest hit and first song from his soon-to-be-released eighth studio album, Globilization. Then Pat Monihan performed the classic Train hit “Drops of Jupiter” with Sons of Serendip, the quartet giving the song an even more classic(al) feel. As the song crescendoed, Monahan stepped to his right and fronted his own band, Train, for a more up-temp song, “Angel In Blue Jeans,” the first single and hit song off their just-released (Sept. 16) album, Bulletproof Picasso.
Travis Barker followed, the Blink-182 drummer pounding away while AcroArmy stormed the stage. Then it was Lenny Kravitz performing his newest release, “The Chamber” (from his upcoming album, Strut, set for release on Sept. 23) which led to Miguel Dakota stepping out on stage and joining Kravitz for a duet on the singer’s hit rendition of The Guess Who classic, “American Woman” (which Miguel performed earlier in the season).
Magician Mat Franco took the stage and, employing the help of “America’s Got Talent” judge Howard Stern and “The View” talk show host Rosie O’Donnell, did a little magic. He transferred three cards from a set of ten hidden in Rosie O’Donnell’s bra to a set of ten cards Howard Stern tucked away in his pants. In a bit that was a funny as it was magical, Mat Franco wowed his two helpers as well as the audience with this amazing card trick.
It was time for more music (but of course, there were four music acts in the Top 6). “American Idol” alum and Oscar-winner Jennifer Hudson took the stage to perform her latest R&G single “It’s Your World” from her new album, JHUD, which will be released next week. Then 12-year-old Quintavious Johnson came out and the two sing “And I Am Telling You” from the “Dreamgirls” soundtrack. Following that powerful act was Cyndi Lauper and Emily West, who performed Lauper’s timeless classic, “True Colors.” The song is a bit overdone on the reality singing competition circuit, but the two women harmonize well (besides, there’s something different, perhaps special, when the original artist is involved).
With just about 40 minutes left to go in the show, host Nick Cannon starts revealing the results. With all of the Top 6 acts on stage, he announces the act leaving in sixth place. And it is… Miguel Dakota.
Quickly moving on, Nick announces fifth place… Quintavious Johnson. His placement is somewhat of a surprise, but he seems pretty cool with it, saying, “How many people can say they made the Top 6?” He’s right. But Quintavious wasn’t done, as Nick announced that “America’s Got Talent” was sending him and his family on a trip to Orlando to hang out and enjoy some amusement park fun.
Ed Sheeran took the stage next, singing his latest release, “Don’t,” the second song from his already gold-selling album, x.
Afterward, it was an elimination run. Fourth place: Sons of Serendip. Third: AcroArmy.
With two finalists left, Emily West and Mat Franco, there came the inevitable recaps of their journeys on “America’s Got Talent.” And then it was time…
And the winner of Season 9 of “America’s Got Talent” was… Mat Franco. (It seemed that Nick Cannon was as surprised as Franco was, given both their reactions — shocked surprise — to Nick’s announcement.)
Mat Franco’s win nets him the $1 million grand prize and a headline in Las Vegas. He also happens to be the first magician to become a winner on “America’s Got Talent.”
So, did America get it right? Is the new winner of “America’s Got Talent” the act that deserved it most, because, let’s face it, all six acts were worthy of winning. And it is very doubtful that Wednesday night’s finale will be the last you ever hear of the runners-up. AcroArmy is certain to get a tour deal, possibly even a residency in Las Vegas. And who can’t wait to hear albums from Quintavious Johnson, Miguel Dakota, Emily West, and Sons of Serendip?
Being the ratings winner it is, “America’s Got Talent” will return next summer for its tenth season. Let’s just hope the producers keep the same judges.