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Season 18 of America’s Got Talent finally crowned a winner on Wednesday after three hours of build-up that included one last look at the 11 finalists, performances from some big-name acts and a few surprises thrown in as well.
Taking home the huge cash prize and ultimate exposure with a guaranteed headlining spot in Las Vegas, was a winner the likes of which hasn’t been seen on AGT in more than 10 years. Here’s how the finale played out.
What the fluff was all about
Before they could reveal the top five acts, all 11 finalists performed one last time for the season. That includes magician Anna DeGuzman; dog act Adrian Stoica and Hurricane; comedian Ahren Belisle; acrobatic duo the Ramadhani Brothers; choral groups Mzansi Youth Choir and the 82nd Airborne Chorus; dance groups Avantgardey, Murmuration and Chibi Unity; and singers Putri Ariani and Lavender Darcangelo.
Many of them were paired up with big-name acts like musician John Batiste, Iron Chef's Cat Cora, songwriter Diane Warren, AGT Season 17 winner The Mayyas, the band Thirty Seconds to Mars and singers Leona Lewis and Jason Derulo.
And in a surprise moment, shortly after the Mzansi Youth Choir found out they just missed out on making the top 5, their frowns were turned upside down when host Terry Crews announced that Coldplay had invited the choir to perform on stage at Coldplay’s sold-out show in San Diego, Calif. on Thursday.
Other aspects of the evening featured a look at some of the most special moments from the season, as well as a sneak peak at the new AGT spinoff show, Fantasy League, that will have Mel B returning as a judge.
Who it came down to
The top 5 acts came down to Murmuration, the Ramadhani Brothers, Putri Ariani, Anna DeGuzman and Adrian Stoica with Hurricane.
After that was established, the Ramadhani Brothers finished in fifth place, Putri Ariani finished fourth and Murmuration took home third.
Who won it
So that means the final two came down to magician Anna DeGuzman and dog act Adrian Stoica and Hurricane, with Stoica and Hurricane picking up the most votes from America and being announced as the winners.
The pair have performed all over the world together coming into this competition and have impressed judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Sofia Vergara along the way. Heading into finals week they were already armed with a pair of performances that included impressive tricks set to songs like Meghan Trainor’s “Better When I’m Dancing, Smash Mouth’s cover of “I’m a Believer” and Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun."
For Tuesday's finale, Queen's “Crazy Little Thing Called Love" served as the soundtrack as they invited Vergara on stage to help with the performance.
They are the first dog act to win AGT since Olate Dogs were crowned in 2012 in Season 7, featuring father-and-son trainers Richard and Nicholas Olate.
What they won
Stoica and Hurricane are taking home a $1 million grand prize and will also become the headlining performers in “America’s Got Talent Presents Superstars Live” at Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nev.
America's Got Talent Season 18 can be streamed in full on Hulu.