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'America's Got Talent': The season finale!

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Nealboydgottalent_l“Tonight a superstar is born!” Piers said in the intro to last night’s America’s Got Talent finale. A superstar? C’mon, dude. Too far. How about just, “Tonight someone’s dreams will come true,” or, “Tonight, someone’s 15 minutes of fame will peak.” But a superstar? Okay, anyone know who Terry Fator is? He’s season 2’s winner, and a damn fine ventriloquist (probably), but a superstar? Hell to the no.

At any rate, the point Piers was trying to make was that this was the moment we’d all been waiting for: the final episode when a winner would be announced. Frankly, it seemed like a task that easily could’ve been accomplished in 30 minutes. But American’s Got Talent is a one-hour show, by golly, and there’s no way they’re gonna forgo whatever suspense they managed to muster lo these many weeks with anything less than a 60-minute party.

The festivities kicked off with the America’s Got Talent Top 10 singing a group number that ended with a shot of little four-year-old Kaitlyn Maher singing the final note (aww…). Next up, Springer announced, was “one of the biggest selling artists in America — no! Make that the world.” One of the biggest “selling?” Hmm. Who could this McDonalds of the singing world be? Why, it was none other than…

More on AGT‘s season finale after the jump…

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Leona Lewis! She was pretty decent, actually, in a genericpop/R&B kinda way, but I was distracted by the giant pimple thepoor thing had on her chin — well-camouflaged, but there was just nogetting past the topographical challenge it posed.

The next few minutes were kind of a blur. I seem to remember a womanwith giant, swinging breasts, a drag queen doing a damn goodimpersonation of Dionne Warwick, a tiny old lady wearing a tiara, andan endorsement for violin guys from Wyclef Jean. Having now typed allthat, I have to wonder if I didn’t briefly doze off and slip into somekind of talent-competition-show-induced dream state. In any case, whenthe booting finally began, Queen Emily was the first to go and, as Isaid in my recap last week, she delivered the least impressive finalperformance. Goodbye, sweet Queen. Next to get the axe, notsurprisingly, was orange tan guy, Donald Braswell. Though he may not beheaded to Vegas, there’s a cruise ship gig out there with his name allover it.

Down to the Top 3. This is where it actually got interesting, as theremaining acts all had some discernible talent. I was actually kind ofshocked when Nuttin But Stringz went out in third place. Their finalperformance was more style than substance, sure, but they totallybrought the house down. I figured they were assured at least a spot inthe final 2. (Shows what I know.) Although their journey ended beforeVegas, hopefully they took some consolation from the fact that Springertold them “you guys are so cool.” Big Jer didn’t hold up his fist for afarewell bump, but you know he wanted to.

And then there were two. Honestly, I thought opera guy Neal E. Boydwas gonna go before violin guys, so at this point, I was pretty surepiano man Eli Mattson had it in the bag. Plus my wife couldn’t stopgoing on about how “cute and good” piano man was — which, of course,made me want opera guy to win all the more. I almost changed my mind,though, as they recapped opera guy’s season and showed him weeping inthe interviews, weeping after every other performance, and weeping onstage as he watched himself weeping on tape. I guess he’s justsensitive, and real men cry and all that, but it still sort of annoyedme.

Apparently, America loves them some crying opera guy, though, cuzthe dude freakin’ won. I had to laugh by the face Sharon Osbourne madeafter the result was revealed. Is it me, or did she look flat-outdisappointed? Lord knows my wife was. “He’ll be fine, that EliMattson,” she said as piano man congratulated opera guy, who thankedAmerica, gave a shout out to Missouri, and yes, wept. For what it’sworth, Mattson and Boyd did possess the most “talent” this season, andBoyd also seems like a really nice guy, so if someone had to win byhalf of one percent, I’m actually kind of glad it was him.

So there ya have it. Did America get it right by crowning Boyd? Wasa superstar born tonight? Were you shocked when Stringz got axed atthird place? Are you counting the days till Talent season 4? Why the hell wasn’t there more Hoff in this final episode?

More on America’s Got Talent:

Our full season of America’s Got Talent recaps

Our gallery of this season’s America’s Got Talent contestants