Belfast Telegraph

Crooner wins America's Got Talent

Bluesy crooner Michael Grimm has traded his fedora for the crown on America's Got Talent.

Grimm, from Waveland, Mississippi, was revealed as the winner of the NBC variety competition on its season conclusion.

Viewers had cast their votes after Tuesday's performance show.

Grimm, 30, looked shocked when he heard his name announced. Then he bent to hug and earnestly console the runner-up, 10-year-old soprano sensation Jackie Evancho of Pittsburgh.

Many had expected Jackie to take the title. Her pure, powerful voice repeatedly left judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel scrambling to find new ways to sing her praises.

But Grimm's soft-spoken manner and signature hat endeared him to Talent viewers, along with his soulful vocals. Describing himself as "just a boy from Mississippi", he more than once expressed surprise that he had made it through the weeks of competition.

From the start he had said that, if he won, he wanted to use some of his prize money to help his grandparents, who raised him and lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. He plans to give them a new home.

Along with his one million dollar (£640,000) prize as winner, Grimm will headline a national America's Got Talent live tour.

The two other finalists were Prince Poppycock, the outlandishly costumed operatic creation of Los Angeles store clerk John Quale, and the performance troupe Fighting Gravity, a group of 13 fraternity brothers from Virginia Tech at Blacksburg, Virginia.

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