America's Got Talent—better known as the talent show that isn't American Idol, The Voice, or the X-Factor—announced its season six winner Wednesday night.
Soulful singer Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. took home the victory. I would've voted on him based on his almost-Star Wars name alone.
"Thank you so much for just believing in me," Landau said, upon hearing his name announced at the end of the show. "It's been a long, hard journey, ever since I was a kid. And it's finally paying off."
So what does he get? Well, he instantly becomes a millionaire—taking home $1 million, and he also gets a Las Vegas headlining contract. He'll have to compete with the Jabbawockeez, but I think he'll be successful.
Murphy's been a crowd and judge favorite all season long. In last night's season finale, he beat out three other finalists. The Silhouettes were a dance troupe from Colorado who used shadow dancing to illustrate music. They were mostly children, ranging in age from 3-19 years old. I don’t really get the shadow dancing thing, but hey, whatever keeps the kids off the marijuana (more for the rest of us).
Teenage rock band PopLyfe was also cut, along with Team iLuminate, a group whose performance danced while wearing wireless lighting systems.
But in the end, viewers were impressed with good, old fashioned vocal talent. Murphy sang a rendition of Frank Sinatra's My Way, and that did it. America casted their votes after that Tuesday performance. On Wednesday's show, Murphy performed You're All I Need to Get By in a duet with Patti LaBelle.
A modest, mild-mannered car washer from Virginia, Murphy will start headlining at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas next month. The other three finalists will also be on the bill.
America's Got Talent is another Simon Cowell creation. And speaking of Cowell, The X-Factor is set to debut next Wednesday, September 21. But they screened their first episode to a limited crowd yesterday, and so far, the response as been positive.
"You were tough, but I like you," Cowell told the audience during the Q&A panel. "I think the American audience was tougher than the English audience. I genuinely do."
Host Steve Jones says the crowd reaction was perfect: "They cried in the right places, laughed in the right places. I think we put together something a little bit special this evening."
There's crying? What are we possibly going to cry over, especially in the first episode? Is Rebecca Black making an appearance?
Not quite, but looks like Rihanna will be. L.A. Reid says "there is a strong possibility" the singer might make an appearance on the show. "We'll just have to wait and see."