The “America’s Got Talent” season 16 finale on September 15 concluded with the announcement of this year’s million dollar act. Ten acts competed in a two-hour show on September 14 after earning enough votes from the public in the quarter-final and semi-final rounds. Some also needed the support of this season’s panel of judges — Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara — to make it this far.
The line-up for Tuesday’s final night of performances: comedian Josh Blue, comedian Gina Brillon, opera singer Victory Brinker, aerialist Aidan Bryant, singer Jimmie Herrod, quick-change artist Lea Kyle, chorale group Northwell Nurse Choir, singer Brooke Simpson, magician Dustin Tavella, and martial artists World Taekwondo Demo. Team.
Below, follow along as we find out who won season 16 of “America’s Got Talent” in our minute-by-minute live blog recap of episode 21.
9:01 p.m. – It’s the big night for the 10 finalists and we’re in for a treat as we slowly rollout the results over the next two hours in between sure-to-be-iconic performances between this season’s best acts and alumni from past seasons. The night will end with one act winning the $1 million prize in what Terry Crews just called one of the closest votes in the show’s history.
9:09 p.m. – The first special performance of the night featured Northwell Health Nurse Choir and Jimmie with guest Idina Menzel on “Defying Gravity.” It was a brilliant meeting of two made-for-the-stage voices on the same week that Broadway re-opens its doors to guests in New York City. When the Northwell nurses joined to provide depth in the background the performance skyrocketed to the heights of what you hear at a Broadway show.
9:14 p.m. – Next Aidan and World Taekwondo took the stage to show us what happens when two highly physical acts come together for a Vegas-worthy performance. And if that wasn’t enough, Olympic gymnasts MyKayla Skinner and Jordan Chiles joined the fray to promote their own gymnastics tour. There’s no doubt that what the judges have said all season–that both Aidan and World Taekwondo are made for Vegas–is true.
9:22 p.m. – It had to have been the opportunity of a lifetime for Brooke to take the stage with Bishop Briggs after she performed her song last night. Tonight they combined for that same song, “White Flag,” and proving that Brooke is beyond ready to become a contemporary of other pop stars.
9:31 p.m. – Because of awards shows, we know how hard it is to duet in comedy, but still Gina brought one of her inspirations, George Lopez, to the stage for a set that wasn’t wholly unlike the comedy bits we see on the Oscars. Their schtick was having Gina give George a haircut live on stage which was cute just so we could see a new facet of Gina’s strength as a comedian.
9:42 p.m. – Idina returned to the stage to sing her new song “Dream Girl” from the Amazon film “Cinderella.” Unlike in the film, Idina performed it with true pop rock star energy with a proper band and black leather costumes. Love this look for her.
9:45 p.m. – Remember earlier this season when Simon pranked Sofia by making her think she shot him dead with an arrow? To get back at him she commissioned a prank bust of him be made for the reveal of their statues for the AGT show at the Luxor in Las Vegas. She made sure that the busts of all the judges looked just like them, except for Simon’s. As everyone cheered on the reveal, Simon’s face was worth a thousand words because his horror was written all over it. As Simon got more and more agitated with embarrassment, Sofia finally revealed that it was all revenge for “messing with a Colombian.” Yes!
10:02 p.m. – After Terry bestowed an entire orchestra of string instruments on a middle school music class, Dustin came to the stage to keep the emotions running high in a joint magic act with Mat Franco and guest magician’s assistant Rico Rodriguez from “Modern Family.” In the trick they used teddy bears and random selection to miraculously reference the phrase “be kind” that Howie had thought to himself privately prior to the trick.
10:18 p.m. – Next, Josh recorded a bit with past AGT comedians where he took advice from them on how to win, but turns out none of them won. After that, Pentatonix lended their voices to a gorgeous performance with Victory.
10:25 p.m. – And now to the results! Terry named the acts that made the top 5 by pairing them off. First, between Gina and Josh, the comic that made the top 5 was Josh!
10:29 p.m. – The second spot for the top 5 was between Jimmie and Lea. Between those two, Lea advanced!
10:31 p.m. – The third spot came down to Aidan and World Taekwondo. The boos from the crowd signaled that many thought both should make the top 5, but ultimately only Aidan did!
10:33 p.m. – The fourth spot came down to the two remaining solo singers, Victory and Brooke. The voice to make the top 5 was Brooke!
10:35 p.m. – And the final spot was between Northwell Health and Dustin. Between the two heartwarming acts, Dustin is the one that advanced!
10:40 p.m. – With the top 5 on stage, Terry revealed that based on the vote the 5th place act was Lea.
10:46 p.m. – The act that polled in 4th place was Brooke.
10:48 p.m. – In order to get to a final two we had to hear who got 3rd place and that’s Josh.
10:55 p.m. – And now for the moment we’ve all been waiting for. The act that earned the most votes, is now $1 million richer and will be joining the AGT Vegas Live show was Dustin Tavella!