'America's Got Talent' Finale Recap: And the Winner Is . . . - Rolling Stone
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‘America’s Got Talent’ Finale Recap: And the Winner Is . . .

Justin Bieber, Green Day and Flo Rida perform on results show

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Olate Dogs win 'America's Got Talent.'

Virginia Sherwood/NBC

You’re not alone. We also are getting all verklempt thinking about the end of another season of the hotbed of absurdity that is America’s Got Talent. But fear not: There had to be a winner before the sixth season was officially given last rites on last night’s final results show – which, in reality-TV terms, meant approximately one hour and 50 minutes of build-up and 10 minutes of actual, you know, results.

Each of the remaining acts – William CloseDavid Garibaldi and his CMYKsTom CotterOlate DogsJoe Castillo and the Untouchables – were brought onstage at the start so Nick Cannon could explain how the night would proceed. Essentially, there’d be a bunch of highlight-reel clips, pop-star performances and, eventually, results.

Pop-rapper extraordinaire Flo Rida was the first of the performers, and he was joined by a mohawked Ke$ha wannabe for a shouting rendition of his new single “I Cry.” For good measure, Garibaldi was nearby, painting what we’d have to imagine is his least inspired work to date: a portrait of Flo Rida. Next, Ne-Yo got sassy, sporting killer white-on-white threads and backed by dude dancers wearing blue blazers as he crooned his latest radio staple, “Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself),” which was a helpful reminder that his songs often feature Auto-Tune. Next up: OneRepublic, led by its human-exclamation point of a singer, Ryan Tedder. The pop rockers churned out their Killers-esque new single “Feel Again” with earth-harp support from Close.

More performances? Of course! Out came Frankie J (who?), a singer we learned had recently joined Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias on tour. This time Mr. J had to settle for the Untouchables, who did some leg kicks in leotards behind him. Next came the best performance so far, courtesy of former contestant Burton Crane, a.k.a. “The Grandfather of Rap,” who belted out his 4-bit classic “Whatcha Gonna Do?” as Cannon, rapper E-40 and some other amped-up dudes gave it the remix treatment.

Results yet? Nope. After a Blue Man Group performance featuring large floating balls that Wayne Coyne would surely want to make his home, Tom Cotter proceeded to roast the judges. (The best line? The comedian told Cannon he would be a great host  at Applebee’s). Joan Rivers came out to finish off the roast – yes, that Joan Rivers after which a children’s choir from Staten Island joined Castillo for a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.”

Finally, an hour into the results show, we got some results. The sixth place act? The Untouchables. “It was amazing and we’re so glad that we got to the finals,” said a male group member, speaking for the first time all season. Fifth place honors went to Castillo. “It was wonderful,” he said of the AGT experience. We’re moving now! Fourth place? That honor went to Garibaldi and his CMYKs. “This has been the most amazing journey of my life,” the artist said.

Only three acts left! But first, the night’s two premiere performances. Up first was Justin Bieber, wearing leather pants and a metallic blazer. He sang his new single “As Long as You Love Me,” joined by Big Sean for the G.O.O.D. Music emcee’s guest spot. The most inspired performance, though, came from the forever-rockin’ dudes in Green Day. During a charged run through “Oh Love,” Billie Joe Armstrong showed that he still makes one of rock’s best lip-puckering snarls while singing.

One hour and 57 minutes, in it was time for the moment of truth. Third place went to . . . William Close?! A true shocker. We certainly did not see this one coming. Holding back tears, the earth harpist said, “I made it to third place on this amazing stage and that rocks!” So now it was down to Tom Cotter and Olate Dogs for the grand prize of $1 million and a headlining show in Las Vegas. The winner? Olate Dogs! Yes, you read that correctly. The pet-trick masters snagged a cool million. Cotter, ever the cool dude, said he was going to get his million anyway by falling down the stairs (and presumably suing NBC).

So that’s it, folks. Olate Dogs are your AGT champion. And what did we learn this season? That telling your pet to do a backflip enough times could lead to you holding a million-dollar check in your hands. 

Last recap: The Final Throwdown


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