America's Got Talent Finale Recap: Did the Right Act Win Season 13?

America's Got Talent Finale

America’s Got Talent wrapped its 13th season on Wednesday with a two-hour extravaganza that paired the remaining 10 acts with some of the biggest names (and tongues) in entertainment. Following Kiss’ high-energy opening performance of “Detroit Rock City,” host Tyra Banks introduced a series of duets and encores from Season 13 favorites.

Glennis Grace was the first to take the stage, singing the Florida-Georgia Line portion of “Meant to Be” with Bebe Rexha after the singer’s own performance of her new single “I’m a Mess.” This was followed by a slightly less conventional collaboration as comedian Samuel J. Comroe coaxed Mel B into taking his place on stage — and delivering a surprisingly solid sequence of cheesy jokes. Then came more music as Courtney Hadwin joined The Struts for back-to-back performances of “Could Have Been Me” and Janis Joplin’s “Take Another Piece of My Heart.”

Daniel Emmet and Plácido Domingo classed the joint up a bit with a dramatic operatic duet, which was followed by an equally classy — if not far classier — comedic collaboration between Vicki Barbolak and none other than Mr. David Spade. This paved the way for a surprisingly emotional stand-out moment: Michael Ketterer’s performance of “The Courage to Love,” a powerful anthem written specifically for him (at Simon Cowell’s request) by Garth Brooks.

Next came Shin Lim with a fun, poker-style card trick, one he performed with a little help from American Ninja Warrior hosts Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbaja-Biamila. More music followed, including a killer duet from finalist Brian King Joseph and fellow electric violinist Lindsey Stirling, which served as the soundtrack for a little demonstration from Duo Transcend. The whole thing transitioned into a dramatic, Lion King-esque performance from Zurcaroh. (Like, if Simba and his friends suddenly became incredible acrobats.)

Then came the first eliminations. Following a bittersweet look back at some of the contestants’ childhoods, Banks announced that the following five acts would not be continuing in the competition: Duo Transcend, Glennis Grace, Daniel Emmet, Vicki Barbolak and Courtney Hadwin. After a few oddly timed commercial breaks, Banks also announced the eliminations of Michael Ketterer (rather excitedly!) and Samuel J. Comroe.

This left us with the official Top 3 of America’s Got Talent Season 13. (Deep breath, folks. We finally made it.) Third place went to Brian King Joseph (the last of my predictions left standing!) and second place went to Zurcaroh, paving the way for a confetti-filled victory celebration for the million-dollar winner… Shin Lim!

Shin Lim had been the favorite to win, at least according to TVLine readers, 24 percent of whom predicted that the close-up magician would come out on top. That said, acrobatic group Zurcaroh and singer Courtney Hadwin weren’t far behind, each earning 15 percent of our readers’ votes. Brian King Joseph — one of my three admittedly misguided predictions for the season’s final three — followed in fourth place with 14 percent of the votes.

How do you feel about AGT‘s Season 13 winner? Was it who you predicted, or were you taken by surprise when the results were announced? Cast your vote for the act that should have won below, then drop a comment with your general review of the finale.

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