“America’s Got Talent” concluded its unconventional season 15 on Wednesday night with the grand finale and the announcement of this year’s million dollar act. Ten acts arrived at the final after earning enough votes from the public in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds and with the support of this season’s panel of judges: Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara. Simon Cowell was absent from the latter half of the season as he recovered from surgery.
The line-up for Tuesday’s final night of performances was led by the three Golden Buzzer acts: Howie’s pick Brandon Leake, Sofia’s pick Roberta Battaglia, and Heidi’s pick Cristina Rae. The set also included Broken Roots, Alan Silva, Archie Williams, Kenadi Dodds, Bello Sisters, BAD Salsa, and Daneliya Tuleshova.
Below, follow along as we find out who won season 15 of “America’s Got Talent” in our minute-by-minute live blog recap of episode 24.
9:00 p.m. – Is there a better way to kick off finale night than an opening number by Usher? The multitalented music artist kicked off the show with a medley of his biggest hits from the studio lot and featuring special appearances by the judges themselves.
9:11 p.m. – Next, Cristina Rae took the stage with “Songland” star, producer, singer and songwriter Ryan Tedder for a duet of his band OneRepublic‘s song “Lose Somebody.” It amounted to one of Cristina’s most controlled performances and showed us what her career could look like after the show.
9:16 p.m. – As a tribute to the late Bill Withers, the finalists all recorded a cover of his song “Lean On Me.” With so many vocalists in the finals it was certainly a treat, but getting to see Alan sing, Brandon add a spoken verse to it and then BAD Salsa and Bello Sisters all add their touch was the real surprise.
9:20 p.m. – Alan Silva and Bello Sisters also joined forces to support Bishop Briggs in a performance of her songs “River” and “Higher.” It was super cool to see Bishop singing in the same ring that Alan performs his aerial act each week, and accompanied by his brother for some arrow shooting danger aspects.
9:29 p.m. – Performing with the artist whose music helped keep him sane during his incarceration, Archie Williams got his chance to sing with gospel singer Pastor Marvin Winans. It was the deeply moving piano ballad “Everything You Touch Is a Song” and like all of his song choices touched on his personal story. After the performance we saw a message from one of his biggest fans, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex!
9:35 p.m. – Next, Daneliya Tuleshova took the stage with Ava Max for a duet of her song “Kings & Queens.” This was exciting because it was another sign that Daneliya is like a seasoned performer that can hold the stage as well as pop’s current stars.
9:42 p.m. – Following their runner-up run on season 14, Detroit Youth Choir became stars of their city and got new opportunities to spread their talent across the country. Tonight they returned with a performance of “Believer” by Imagine Dragons.
9:53 p.m. – Broken Roots got to sing with one of their idols, Blake Shelton, on his big hit “God’s Country.” Like their final performance, this was a harder country song that let them become true country rock stars.
9:57 p.m. – In a touching moment we saw video clips from the families and friends of the finalists showing their love and support for the artists and giving us a glimpse into the worlds that they come from. In addition, Terry announced that Kia is giving the winner and runner-up a new car as part of their prize.
10:05 p.m. – Last year’s “AGT: The Champions” winners V.Unbeatable hit the stage with this year’s Indian finalists BAD Salsa for an incredible showcase of the dancing and acrobatics that they both brought to us in back to back seasons.
10:19 p.m. – Roberta Battaglia and Kenadi Dodds came together with Julia Michaels and JP Saxe to partner on their new song “If the World Was Ending.” It was great to see Roberta and Kenadi lend their powerful voices to the otherwise delicate voices of Julia and JP.
10:26 p.m. – Brandon Leake was able to have his own special moment by introducing the outdoor stage they had set up to find out which acts were voted into the top five. Terry announced those five acts in pairs. Between Alan Silva and Bello Sisters, the top 5 act was Alan Silva.
10:29 p.m. – Between Cristina Rae and Daneliya Tuleshova, the top 5 act was Cristina Rae.
10:31 p.m. – Between BAD Salsa and Broken Roots, the top 5 act was Broken Roots.
10:32 p.m. – Between Kenadi Dodds and Roberta Battaglia, the top 5 act was Roberta Battaglia.
10:34 p.m. – And last, between Archie Williams and Brandon Leake, the top 5 act was Brandon Leake.
10:40 p.m. – The act that finished in 5th place was Alan Silva.
10:46 p.m. – The act that finished in 4th place was Roberta Battaglia.
10:48 p.m. – The act that finished in 3rd place was Cristina Rae.
10:56 p.m. – That means that this year’s finalists were country rock duo Broken Roots and spoken word artist Brandon Leake. After a look back at their journeys on the show, Terry announced the season 15 champion as Brandon Leake!