Michael Grimm, the Southern gent with the fedora who won the fifth season of ‘America’s Got Talent‘ Wednesday night, didn’t even make it past the first audition for the show last season and was surprised to get into the Final Four this week.
So imagine his surprise when he actually won the thing over the odds-on favorite, 10-year-old opera singer Jackie Evancho. Well, we don’t have to imagine, we saw the look on his face last night and it was the look of sheer shock.
“They said my name and I just absolutely could not believe it. It just took me by surprise,” said Grimm, who hails from Waveland, Mississippi, to reporters this morning on a press conference call. “I thought from the get-go that it was gonna be Jackie. From the moment I heard her, I said, ‘Well. This is gonna be taken. This is already done.’ I was just blessed to get as far as the third round and they kept voting me through. I was amazed each time I made it through.”
Grimm might not have been so lucky had he tried out for a certain other reality show, ‘American Idol,’ though the thought crossed his mind.
“I never really thought about doing reality shows, but a lot of people asked me about ‘American Idol,'” he explained. “I was always afraid of doing it because of what the American Idol is in definition. I’m not that guy, you know, with all respect. I thought ‘America’s Got Talent’ would give me the opportunity to do what I do and do it all the way, if America allowed me to do so–which they did. And [laughs] I’m very, very shocked.”
In taking us through that final moment on stage, Grimm said, “I was next to Jackie up there and I’m just still in shock…. She’s such a powerhouse of a singer. She’s as adorable as can be. And I love her to death. When they announced my name, I was expecting her to win it. I told her, I said, ‘Jackie, you got this babe.’ I told her right before all of that and she said, ‘No you got it.'”
Because of his admiration for the child star, Grimm called his win “a bittersweet moment.” But he’s happy to now have the money to build his grandparents a home. “I was rejoicing inside for my grandparents, but at the same time, I was also feeling very bad for Jackie. I wanted her to win this. My heart went out to her and I had to give her a big hug and tell her everything is going to be all right. She is a very strong girl.”
But what did he whisper in her ear on the finale? “That’s our little secret,” Grimm said.
Michael Grimm will embark on a tour beginning October 1st in Oakland, Calif., and hit 25 cities through November 7th, including the headline gig at Caesar’s in Las Vegas on October 8th.
Now that the dust has settled, how do you feel about ‘AGT’s season finale? Sound off in the comments.