'America's Got Talent' results: And the winner is ...
And this season's winner of "America's Got Talent" is ... Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
Just as most of us had predicted, the corn-rowed crooner with a knack for Sinatra carried the day, nabbing not only bragging rights -- though he doesn't really seem the type to brag -- but also, as we were frequently reminded, $1 million and a stint headlining a show in Las Vegas.
That last part would have seemed more impressive if Jerry Springer, who will host the Vegas show at Caesars Palace, hadn't dropped down from above (wearing a very uncomfortable-looking harness) in the middle of the final results show -- which included performances by Patti LaBelle (with the night's eventual winner), Def Leppard, Stevie Wonder (with a much-better-sounding Poplyfe), OneRepublic, Cobra Starship (with Team iLuminate), Tony Bennett and Queen Latifah, LeAnn Rimes (backed by the Silhouettes), Cirque du Soleil, and last year's second-place "AGT' finisher, Jackie Evancho -- to break some news: Though the winner will "headline" the Vegas show, the three other finalists and some of the top 10 will be performing, too, as will last year's AGT winner, Michael Grimm, among others.
Somehow, though, it still seemed to matter which of the final four won –- and who took home second, third and fourth. How else to explain the gasp that rang out when it was announced that Team iLuminate, who many had tipped to come in second or even on top, was eliminated in third place? (After last night's stumble, teen band Poplyfe's fourth-place finish was hardly a shocker.)
Sharon Osbourne's face was the picture of open-mouthed surprise as Nick Cannon snuffed out Team iLuminate's hope for a win. The group itself, however, took the loss like champs, as had Poplyfe before them. Both acts will assuredly parlay their "AGT" popularity and exposure into ongoing success.
And anyway, who wanted to see those adorable, earnest young Silhouettes dancers disappointed, especially after they turned in a greatest-hits performance that reminded us why they'd gotten this far? (LeAnn Rimes wasn't the only one who got a little misty watching those cute kids spell out words like "Imagine," "Love," "Believe" and "Give.")
As for Murphy, the car washer from West Virginia with the kind eyes, sharp suits and silky voice, is taking home a cool mill. He'll get that chance to secure his kids' future, to build them a house and help them live the life they should be living, or however he put it the other night.
He did it his way –- and he snagged the crown. Ain't that a kick in the head?
So what do you think? Did the voters get it right? Last chance to weigh in on the season!
-- Amy Reiter
Photo: Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., winner of this season of "America's Got Talent," performs with Patti LaBelle in the finale. Credit: Trae Patton / NBC