12 year old Grace Vanderwaal scooped the $1 million grand prize on Wednesday night's epic final.
‘America’s Got Talent’ has crowned its newest champion, with the prodigiously young ukulele sensation Grace Vanderwaal scooping the grand prize on Wednesday night’s season finale.
The 12 year old narrowly edged the mentalist duo The Clairvoyants to scoop the show’s $1 million prize as the NBC talent contest’s eleventh season came to an end in emotional fashion, with Vanderwaal in floods of tears as Nick Cannon announced her name as the winner.
“How does it feel? These are tears of joy, right?” Cannon asked her as she tried to compose herself at the end of the two-hour extravaganza. “Yes, of course,” she replied.
Speaking to People magazine after the broadcast has finished, she was asked what she was going to do with her seven-figure prize. She replied that was planning to give to charity, and that she wasn’t done with reality TV just yet…
“I want to go on ‘Treehouse Masters’ and I want to get a treehouse,” she said reminding everybody of her tender age.
Judge Howie Mandel was an ardent champion of the youngster right from the start, using his golden buzzer to get her through the opening rounds.
“The most amazing thing about Grace is that you haven't heard anybody who sounds like her,” he says. “You haven't heard any lyrics from somebody that is like her, and we've been saying to her, you are the most unique, brightest star to come out of one of these shows.”
She’s since been getting flattering comparisons with Taylor Swift, and now the child star will get the opportunity to headline a huge variety show in Las Vegas in the near future.
“That moment at the end, it reminded me of the Kelly Clarkson moment. You know, when they said, ‘And the winner is Kelly Clarkson’,” fellow judge Simon Cowell said in an interview. “I kind of had that same feeling again when they read her name out, and I saw her reaction and she was literally in pieces. I like that though.”