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‘America’s Got Talent’ Finale Ends In Major Upset - Did Fans Make The Right Choice?

Greg Gaynes - NBC

If fans had been allowed to bet on the outcome of last night's America's Got Talent finale, bookies would have been in a panic - because just about every result defied our expectations.

Even the show's judges admitted their surprise as fan favorite acts lost out to dark horse finalists.

By the end of the night, many fans were left wondering if America had made the right choice after all.

Honorable Mentions

On Tuesday's first half of the two-night finale show, the acts demonstrated their talent one last time.

British singer Courtney Hadwin, whose covers of classic rock songs have riled up the judges week after week, seemed a popular choice to take home the crown on Wednesday.

But the feisty 14-year-old ended the competition in sixth place, even though her final performance of "River Deep, Mountain High" impressed the judges.

Howie Mandel, who had given Hadwin a Golden Buzzer straight to the live rounds, called the singer a "superstar in the making," and had obviously been rooting for her.

But this probably won't be the last we hear from Hadwin: judge Simon Cowell suggested he might sign her up for a record deal after the show ended.

Michael Ketterer, the pediatric nurse and father of six whose moving backstory left Cowell in tears, also finished further down the rankings than anyone would have predicted, in fifth place.

Like Hadwin, Ketterer went out on a high note with a perfomance of "The Courage to Love," a song written specially for him by Garth Brooks.

But it just wasn't enough for Ketterer to take the top spot in a season where Talent fans have nearly revolted against the number of singing acts.

Vocalists Daniel Emmet and Glennis Grace were also losers this season, along with comedian Vicki Barbalok and Samuel J. Comroe, while trapeze artists Duo Transcend were brought down to earth.

The Top 3

Electric violinist Brian King Joseph, whose incredible remixes blended classical and modern pieces into a groovy fusion, impressed fans enough to clinch third place this season.

The acrobatic and dance troupe Zurcaroh, who give Cirque du Soleil a run for their money, finished in second place - which is probably a blessing, since they don't need to split up all the prize money.

And believe it or not, Canadian-American closeup magician Shin Lim was crowned the winner of America's Got Talent season 13.

Lim, who has been training to be a magician since he was a teenager, wowed the judges with mind-boggling card tricks.

Cowell and the other judges encouraged him to step up his game and add new tricks each week, and Lim bravely accepted the challenge with a final act that also featured his piano skills.

"He got what I was saying," Cowell said after the finale, "which was if you want to go to that next level, you've got to make it bigger. You've got to show your personality, you've got to be a showman."

"He took it all on board and when he came out last night, I did say to him afterward, 'I think you could win after that.'"

Lim's first-place finish earned him the $1 million grand prize and a residency at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, but the magician is already touring the world and wowing audiences at huge venues.

While fans awarded Lim the top spot, Cowell says he may not be the only star to emerge from this season.

"[At the end of the night] I felt the same way when One Direction didn't win [on X Factor in 2010. When] they came in third, I felt I was being punched in the stomach," he said.

[H/T: BBC, USA Today, People]

Who would you have voted for in the America's Got Talent season finale?

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