​”America’s Got Talent” crowns a season 10 winner

17 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘America’s Got Talent’ picks a winner, plus Howard Stern’s departure.

Paul Zerdin, who is a ventriloquist, won the tenth season of the show. “I thought it would be really cool to be a judge, because I think I have something to offer,” he says. “If I had any dream about this, it’s that I could take someone who was struggling and seriously give advice.It’s the season 10 finale of America’s Got Talent, and the fate of a couple of singers, a few comedians, a magician, a mentalist, a little guy with a ladder, a bloke with a puppet, a magic dragon, and a man who can swallow whatever is currently in your kitchen junk drawer has been announced.

Judges on the show this season were model Heidi Klum, former Spice Girls member Mel B, Nick Cannon, actor Howie Mandel, and radio talk show host Howard Stern. I just thought I’d nip over to America, have a go at this talent show, and if it didn’t work out then I could come home back to the UK and no one would be any the wiser. Speaking of the moment before he beat comedian Drew Lynch to the first place position, Paul said: “I thought that he was going to win it, so I had my congratulations speech all worked out in my head, just to say: ‘Well done mate, you deserve every moment of it.’ Scotland-born Stevie Starr, known as the Professional Regurgitator, came fourth, while British magician John van der Put performing as Piff the Magic Dragon also made the top 10. Paul, who has appeared at the Royal Variety Performance and is a former children’s television presenter in the UK, won one million dollars (£645,120) as part of his prize, which he intends to use to clear his debts – and buy his puppets a new suitcase.

He first performed as a magician on the BBC’s Tricky Business before going on to host Rise And Shine for GMTV, having been inspired to go into ventriloquism a decade earlier when a family friend made him a puppet theatre, with which he put on shows at the age of 10. It wasn’t harsh, I think it was out of love.” He admits that in becoming a judge on the competition, “I did the most shocking thing of my career — I was on a family show,” but has loved meeting kids and parents who recognize him while out on the town. “I’ll go to a restaurant and parents will bring over their 10-year-olds to sit on my lap to take a picture. Sharon Osbourne has also served as a judge and the hosts on the program have changed as well, with celebrities including Jerry Springer and Regis Philbin emceeing the show before current host Nick Cannon took the job. Those who watch other reality competitions like “American Idol” and “The Voice” are no stranger to seeing different faces in the judging chairs. “Idol” had a famous lineup of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson before a fourth judge, Kara DioGuardi, was added.

I’ve had some pretty hairy nights. “Someone got up and punched the puppet once and I thought, that’s the ultimate compliment really – he didn’t punch me, he punched the puppet. Just when I’m about to hide behind my couch cushion because Jeff Ross makes me so uncomfortable, The CraigLewis Band takes the stage with gospel legend Yolanda Adams to sing “I Want To Know What Love Is” by Foreigner. Another singing competition, NBC’s “The Voice,” has had different judges as well, but many who left have returned later on, keeping more of a feeling of continuity. It’s hard to preserve a judging lineup, but “Voice” and “Dancing” seemed to have had the most luck with it, either keeping the lineup mostly the same or having a revolving-door feel where viewers think there’s still a chance they may see a favorite departed judge return.

I enjoyed “Buzzer Therapy” where Jerry Springer shepherds some of the more interesting acts (remember that weird kid who could squirt milk out of his eye?) on how to live their lives after AGT. And if Paul Zerdin follows in the very successful footsteps of season 2 winner and fellow ventriloquist Terry Fator, he’s definitely going to need a bigger bank account for all the money he will be making.

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