VIDEO: Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr. Wins America's Got Talent
The nail-biting season finale of NBC's summer hit, America's Got Talent came down to four finalists Wednesday night — solo crooner Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., dance troupe Team iLuminate, shadow dancers the Silhouettes, and the popular Oakland-based band, PopLyfe, who were a favorite to win until they found themselves struggling to hit the notes on a Queen cover earlier in the week.
PopLyfe and Team iLuminate were eliminated earlier in the show, in fourth and third places, respectively, bringing the competition down to Murphy and the Sillhouettes. After belting out a spirited performance of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," Murphy seemed confident, and all three judges, Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne (pictured), and Howie Mandel, hinted that Murphy might just take the top prize. "I can tell you that was a million dollar performance," Morgan said, referring obliquely to the $1 million prize money that the winner walks away with.
America agreed with Morgan, and Murphy was announced the winner of Season 6's America's Got Talent. The former car washer was overcome. "Thank you so much for just believing in me," he said after he was revealed as the winner. "It's been a long, hard journey ever since I was a kid. And it's finally paying off." In addition to the prize money, Murphy will also headline at Caesar's Palace Casino and Resort in Las Vegas. The other finalists will also get the chance to perform there.
In addition to a close competition, last night's show also featured performances by Patti LaBelle, LeAnn Rimes and Stevie Wonder, who sang with the contestants.
Watch the announcement here: