“America’s Got Talent” crowned its 13th winner Wednesday with magician Shin Lim squeaking out a win over the dancers Zurcaroh. Lim is the second sleight-of-hand artist on the winners list after Mat Franco who took the title in Season 9. We had not expected Zurcaroh, who were Tyra Banks‘ Golden Buzzer, to do so well, given that no other dance group had won “AGT” in its 12-year history (solo dancer Kenichi Ebina won Season 8).
Rather, we thought the race would be between Shin Lim and teen singing sensation Courtney Hadwin, who had been Howie Mandel‘s Golden Buzzer act. She would have been the third youngster in a row to win the $1 million grand prize and a chance to headline at a Las Vegas casino. Last year’s winner was 12-year-old singing ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer. And songwriter/ukeleleist Grace VanderWaal was also 12 when she won “AGT” in 2016.
Farmer was the third ventriloquist to claim victory, following in the path of Season 2’s Terry Fator, who appeared on the Season 12 finale alongside Farmer, and Season 10’s Paul Zerdin. She was also the third child act to prevail, after VanderWaal and the first-ever “AGT” winner, singer Bianca Ryan (11 years old).
Simon Cowell‘s Golden Buzzer Michael Ketterer, who placed only fifth, was hoping to become the fifth male singer to win, joining the late Neal E. Boyd (Season 3), Kevin Skinner (Season 4), Michael Grimm (Season 5) and Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. (Season 6).
A group variety act has never won, although Zurcaroh came tantalizing close this year. Also never to win? A comedian. Samuel J. Comrie did the best of any to date, placing fourth this year.
Unlike previous years, there was no animal act in this year’s final. The only four-legged contestants to ever win were the Olate Dogs in Season 7.
Which winning act is your all-time favorite? And how does Shin Lim compare to the prior “Americas Got Talent” champions? Be sure to sound off down in the comments section.