Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin Wins America’s Got Talent 10 (VIDEO)
Welcome to the live blog and recap of America’s Got Talent 10, “Live Finale”! Judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern are back alongside host Nick Cannon for the final show of the season, as we finally crown the one million dollar act!
Unfortunately, last night’s final was one of the dullest in AGT history. Seriously, out of the ten acts, there were only about three standouts. I think this is basically what happens when you don’t have a dance act in the mix. But hey, we still have to crown a winner out of this lineup, and there ARE deserving acts in this group.
So what do Rickey.org readers predict the finishing order to be?
As of press time, the results of our official poll lists the following results:
10. Gary Vider
9. Uzeyer Novruzov
8. Benton Blount
7. Derek Hughes
6. Piff the Magic Dragon
5. The CraigLewis Band
4. Drew Lynch
3. Oz Pearlman
2. Paul Zerdin
1. The Professional Regurgitator (PREDICTED WINNER!)
Will our readers be right? Keep it locked right here as I’ll be updating with commentary and videos as the night rolls on!
Let’s get this show on the road!
-We open with a pretty cute video package in which each of the finalists prank each other, with Derek Hughes magically swiping Oz Pearlman’s cards, and Gary Vider leaving a “Kick Me” sign on Drew Lynch…who manages to steal Gary’s belt and causing his pants to fall. It’s all set to “War” by Edwin Starr, and is one of the more fun openings the show has done. After introductions, we get a recap of last night’s performance show, although I’m kind of sad that this is basically the final show for Howard Stern. I liked him a lot as a judge on this show.
THE CRAIGLEWIS BAND performs with Gospel superstar YOLANDA ADAMS!
-Yolanda Adams, according to Nick, is the biggest-selling gospel artist of the past decade, and while I’ve definitely heard of her (thanks to a hilarious Steve Harvey bit from his MegaFest show), I didn’t actually know that. They perform “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner, complete with a gospel choir and a pyro shower. You could probably be forgiven for thinking this was a coronation performance. Come to think of it, I’m somewhat surprised this song hasn’t been used as a winner’s single for a singing show before. Anyway, the performance itself is outstanding, because of course it is.
-As we head to break, we have a sweet video with the judges all talking about Heidi. Howard thinks she has a terrible singing voice, but later admits he just can’t be mean to her, because she’s too sweet. I believe that.
-Back from break with a behind-the-scenes look at the finale after-party in the Dunkin’ Donuts Lounge. Not much really happens other than The Professional Regurgitator stating that setting his hand on fire doesn’t burn him, it only singes his hairs. Also, Paul Zerdin’s elderly puppet, Albert, gabs with Nick Cannon. Man, I love felt puppets so much. I wish I could have one of myself made, but the create-your-own Muppet thing at FAO Schwartz is astronomically expensive. Also, the whole thing about FAO Schwartz going out of business this year.
OZ PEARLMAN, DEREK HUGHES, and PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON perform!
-Oz has Heidi think of an indestructible card in her mind, and then imagine he’s holding it up. He then magically makes the card appear…and it’s the right suit, a 3 of Hearts! Heidi is absolutely stunned, and so am I. But the act continues as Oz introduces Season 9 winner Mat Franco and Season 10 finalist Derek Hughes for the next trick. They pull out a series of photos of the judges on the show, and some of the people who will be a part of tomorrow night’s Mat Franco’s Got Magic special, including Jason Mraz, Neil Patrick Harris, Penn & Teller, and Nicole Scherzinger. Mat picks a photo of Mel B behind Derek’s back, and then tells him to pick a picture from the stack himself. However, instead of picking the matching Mel B picture, he picks Neil Patrick Harris. Luckily, Mat magically turns the picture of Mel B into the picture of Neil Patrick Harris! Great stuff, although not as mind-blowing as Oz’s bit.
From there, Piff the Magic Dragon descends from the ceiling, and brings Penn & Teller out onstage! Piff has Teller shuffle a deck of cards in front of Mel B, and instructs her to pick a card and write her name on it. She does, and then hands it back to Teller, who shuffles the deck again. Piff takes the cards, wraps them in cloth, and tapes the cloth shut. He then stabs the deck with a knife, and sets it on fire by blowing on it over and over again. Who knew Piff actually had fire breath?! Anyway, all the other cards fall out, leaving only Mel B’s card. It’s strange, Oz is a self-described mentalist, rather than a magician, but he arguably had a stronger act tonight (and last night) than either of the two men actual magicians in the finals this year.
-Back from break with Nick explaining that Uzeyer can’t perform at the level he wants to tonight due to his injury. So Freelusion offered to help him out tonight…
UZEYER NOVRUZOV and FREELUSION perform!
-One of the dancers is playing on a bouncing piano projected on the video screen, while Uzeyer dances with the girl. They then do a wonderful routine that involves Uzeyer balancing several cartoon ladders on his head, while balancing on a cartoon ladder himself. This is SO MUCH FUN, and a million times better than what we got last night from Uzeyer (whom I love to pieces, but seriously). Again, I think part of the reason last night’s finale was so dreadfully dull overall was because we didn’t have any dance acts. I still can’t believe Freelusion didn’t make the finale.
-Anyway, we then get Howard saying that although this is his last season, he wants to do something for Nick. So he throws to a video package that’s essentially a tribute to what a great host Nick is. And you know what? He IS a great host. One of the most underrated hosts in reality TV. In the video, Nick joking about how intense his job is, adding that he needs to be a host and also a therapist. “No matter the emotion the contestant is feeling, I have to be there to catch’em,” he says (well, paraphrasing). After some more clips, Nick declares he loves his job, and could easily go another ten seasons. You don’t know how genuinely happy that makes me, to hear him say that.
DREW LYNCH and GARY VIDER perform!
-Drew and Gary roast each other, and it starts out far too nice to really be classified as a roast, so Howie intervenes and brings out “Roastmaster General” Jeff Ross, who’s basically made a career out of those Comedy Central roasts. Jeff tells Drew he doesn’t know what he’s doing on “Last Comic Stammering”, and then tells Gary he’s foolish if he thinks he can beat a kid with a disability. He then tells them he thinks they both have huge futures in comedy. He then rips on the judges, saying Heidi judging comedy is like Howard judging beauty, saying he must have gotten his haircut from PetCo. He then asks Heidi to marry him: “You’ve already been with a Seal, why not a Walrus?!” He then shouts out Mel B (who immediately says, “I’m not going to like this.”). He tells Mel B her “spice rack” is on-point, and adds that he’d love to press her golden buzzer. Jeff promises he’s not going to rip on immigrants, saying if we want to see that, we can change the channel and see Donald Trump on the Republican debates. In closing, Drew and Gary rip into Jeff now, with Gary saying Jeff looks like “Howie Mandel if he stopped trying,” and Drew adding that Howie would never shake hands with Jeff because he’s a germaphobe…and Jeff is disgusting. This was awkward at first, but got surprisingly funnier as it went on, although this was more of a showcase for Jeff Ross than for either of the finalists.
-Back from break with Nick introducing the next act, and once again, reminding us NOT to try this at home…
THE PROFESSIONAL REGURGITATOR and PENN & TELLER perform!
-Stevie Starr is sitting in a chair, holding an empty fishbowl. He asks for a fish from a large tank nearby, but the tank is empty, so they start filling the bowl with fish coins. Stevie spits out a few more into the bowl, and then Teller puts them in the tank…AND THEY TURN INTO GOLDFISH! Crazy! Stevie plans on one-upping them. He swallows the lid to a container for camera film. He then swallows a goldfish, takes the empty film container, fills it with water, swallows the container. Sure enough, he manages to put the fish into the container, close the lid, and then bring the container back up with the fish inside! Incredible! I swear, this finale is leagues better than last night’s show. The difference is night and day, and I don’t think it’s just the celebrity acts. There’s less pressure for these acts now, so they feel a bit looser and more free to just have fun up there, and that type of attitude rubs off on the audience. Well, it does on me, anyway. Loved this.
-Next, we get an amusing video segment of a “Buzzer Support Group,” with all the buzzed acts over the course of 10 Seasons coming together to talk about how they’re coping with having been buzzed. In an amusing twist, Jerry Springer is the one hosting this session. I honestly don’t remember most of these acts, so half of this kind of fell flat with me. Triple Threat joins the group, along with Special Head, who refuses to stop levitating. Then Juan Carlos shows up in his roller blades, causing Jerry to lose his patience, calling an end to the meeting and giving his final thought, a la The Jerry Springer Show. Okay, this won me over by the end.
BENTON BLOUNT and RACHEL PLATTEN perform!
-I really don’t like this song at all, but this right here is probably my favorite Benton Blount vocal since his performance of “Jolene”. What I also liked about this was that Rachel seemed more focused on letting Benton get the spotlight, which not every guest act has allowed tonight (granted, it’s mostly because a lot of these guest acts weren’t designed to allow for the contestant to take the spotlight over the celebrity, like with Drew and Gary, for instance). Anyway, this was pretty good all-around, and the little punch Rachel gives him at the end is adorable. For some reason, Nick can’t get through the post-performance plug without cracking up. But I guess Rachel’s good mood is infectious.
-We now get another video of the judges ragging on each other, with this one focused on Mel B. This is notable only for the funny segment at the end where Mel B lets Howie pull her hair, only to give him a hard time because, “That wasn’t a pull. That was a yank! Now, stop!”
PAUL ZERDIN and TERRY FATOR perform!
-Paul brings Sam out, who talks about how lovely the people in Radio City Music Hall are, and how ugly Paul is. He then does a cool trick where he makes Sam’s voice echo through the building using just his own voice. After a joke about how a dummy could never win this show, Paul introduces Season 2 winner Terry Fator, who brings out an Elvis impersonator dummy with him. After a back-and-forth with Sam, Terry sings while the Elvis dummy lip-syncs. He actually has a pretty good voice! However, I thought the funniest part about it was when Sam and the Elvis dummy butt in on Nick’s attempt at throwing to the next video.
-We get a recap of the entire tenth season, from the auditions to the finals, set to “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. While I’m not happy overall that some of the better acts got cut before the finals, I did think this was a pretty good season overall, with a lot of great contestants and great moments. Nick also plugs the AGT All-Stars Live Tour. Sounds like a good time.
RESULTS, PT. 1
-Nick is going to announce the five acts who have made it into the Top 5. He calls Derek and Oz forward, although he says it in a way that makes it seem as though they’ve both been put through, with Derek showing gratitude when his name is called. I felt bad when it became apparent that this would be the reading of the result, and not the result itself. Anyway, one of them is in the Top 5, and the other is eliminated. Nick reads the result…
OZ PEARLMAN is in the Top 5!
DEREK HUGHES is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
-Derek thanks America for getting him this far. Does this mean Derek came in 10th place? I like having the full results in chronological order, but that’s just me, I guess.
RESULTS, PT. 2
-Nick calls Drew Lynch (MASSIVE cheer from the audience) and Gary Vider (almost no reaction from the audience whatsoever). One will advance, the other is eliminated. Nick reads the result, and the crowd is ROARING for Drew…
DREW LYNCH is in the Top 5!
GARY VIDER is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
-Gary says his journey on the show was amazing, and he’s happy with where he is. “I can’t wait to tell more jokes. Thank you!” Gary declares, in a classy exit.
RESULTS, PT. 3
-Nick calls The Professional Regurgitator and Uzeyer Novruzov forward. One will go through, the other goes home. Nick reads the result…
THE PROFESSIONAL REGURGITATOR is in the Top 5!
UZEYER NOVRUZOV is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
-Uzeyer calls this “an experience all my life,” and says that while he’s leaving this stage tonight, he’ll be on the stage all his life.
RESULTS, PT. 4
-Nick calls The CraigLewis Band and Benton Blount forward. If Benton goes through here, I get the feeling he’s winning the damn thing, because there’s just no other reason for him to finish that high. Nick reads the result…
THE CRAIGLEWIS BAND is in the Top 5!
BENTON BLOUNT is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
-Benton says his family is here, and they’re the reason he did this in the first place. He adds that he’s proud of everyone for voting him this far, and bids the competition farewell.
RESULTS, PT. 5
-Nick calls Paul Zerdin and Piff the Magic Dragon forward. This will be a real nail-biter, because they’re both popular acts. Nick reads the result…
PAUL ZERDIN is in the Top 5!
PIFF THE MAGIC DRAGON is eliminated from AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
-Piff says he’s lived in America for almost two years now, and magic dragons love America. What a classy, lovely exit.
-So the Top 5 are: Oz Pearlman, Drew Lynch, The Professional Regurgitator, The CraigLewis Band, and Paul Zerdin! Overall, this is the right Top 5, considering last night’s performances.
FIFTH PLACE RESULTS
-Nick reveals the act leaving in fifth place…
THE CRAIGLEWIS BAND finishes in 5th Place!
-The guys thank everyone who voted for them, and calls this show an incredible platform for them. Mel B tells them not to be disappointed with this, because they are amazing singers, and delivered their best performance last night. “Keep doing what you do,” Mel B tells them. Honestly, this isn’t entirely unexpected, but I would be proud if I were these two, especially considering how close they came to being eliminated in the semi-finals. Finishing in fifth place out of the hundred, if not thousands, that auditioned? That’s pretty great.
-We get a farewell video for Howard Stern, looking back on the years he was judge. He gives his life story, and how people repeatedly told him he had no talent back when he was doing college radio. However, he sent in his show to a station, and received a five-page advice letter that helped him become the man he is today, and he tries to impart the same advice to the contestants, even though it seems harsh at times. We see him going through New York City, saying high to people and even shaking hands with a delightful police officer. He talks about how New York is his home, and he’s proud of being one of the people responsible for bringing this show back to New York. This is a surprisingly touching video, and I think the best way to show how much is to simply post the video. Enjoy…
-Back in the studio, Howard gets a standing ovation. Howard then thanks the judges, the viewers, the contestants, NBC, and all the people working backstage. He then hugs his fellow judges in a touching moment. I’ll miss ya, Howard!
FOURTH PLACE RESULTS
-Nick reveals the result…
THE PROFESSIONAL REGURGITATOR finishes in 4th Place!
-The crowd does NOT like this result at all, and Heidi is SHOCKED! But Stevie takes it in stride, saying how nice it was to be on this show, particularly how nice it is to have seen Howie again, since he did Howie’s radio show back in the 80s. Heidi says she doesn’t know what to say about this result, but says how much she enjoyed having him on the show. She’s certain he’ll show up again somewhere, and she’ll see him again. Again, I think this is a case where a really strong act last night from Oz, and a less-than-mind-blowing act from Stevie led to this result.
THIRD PLACE RESULTS
-Nick reveals the result…
OZ PEARLMAN finishes in 3rd Place!
-The crowd hates this result too! But he should be proud, considering he snatched third place from the clutches of sixth with his awesome act last night. We get a farewell video, followed by a wonderful consolation from Howie, who says the only flaw in Oz’s performance is that there can be only one winner for this show.
-Nick then interviews the two finalists, and Paul admits he’s nervous and just wants to get on with it. Drew says he’s nervous because Paul is so talented and handsome. Hilarious.
-And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. It’s between ventriloquist Paul Zerdin and comedian Drew Lynch! Nick asks Howard what he thinks of the Top 2, and he says this is an incredible process, and he’s proud of these two men for making it here, no matter who wins. Before reading the result, Nick throws to a video of Paul and Drew’s respective journeys on the show, in order to drag this out another couple agonizing moments for the finalists. Before long, we’re back to the studio as Nick states there is only a one percent difference in the vote! MADNESS! He reads the final result…
DREW LYNCH FINISHES IN 2ND PLACE!
PAUL ZERDIN WINS AMERICA’S GOT TALENT 10!
Paul Zerdin is your winner for America’s Got Talent 10, and I don’t have any problem with this result whatsoever. He deserved the win, and I think he has a big future ahead of him. Paul thanks America, and fights back tears, saying this is surreal and he’s bowled over by all of this. Drew congratulates Paul and thanks everyone who voted for him as the confetti falls from the ceiling and the finalists come out to embrace the Top 2. The judges end the season with a standing ovation for the talent on the stage, and that’s the season!
-Aaaand that’s a wrap on America’s Got Talent Season 10! What did you think of the results? Did the right act win? Sound off in the comments!
Thank you so much for joining me this season for America’s Got Talent 10!