Current America’s Got Talent champion Shin Lim dropped to the floor with emotion after being crowned the winner Monday of the international spin-off show.
The 27-year-old card trick magician nervously waited alongside ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer, 14, to find out who was voted the first winner of America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
‘Who is it, who is it?’ judge Heidi Klum, 45, pleaded during an extended dramatic delay before the decision, with Mel B. adding: ‘Oh my God!’
The winner: Shin Lim was crowned the winner of America’s Got Talent: The Champions on Monday during a two-hour finale on NBC
Shin then dropped to the floor as he was named the champion among other winners and top finishers from the history of the Got Talent franchises around the world.
‘I’m speechless,’ Shin finally said, before he added: ‘And thank you so much, really.
‘All I can say is follow your dreams, really. Follow your dreams,’ Shin added.
Earlier, he said in a pre-recorded interview: ‘I was so nervous doing the act for the first time. I’m really glad that I decided to believe in myself.’
Second place: Darci Lynn Farmer came in second place with her ventriloquist routine
The moment: Terry Crews announced that Shin won the spin-off series
Man down: Shin dropped to his knees after being named the winner of AGT: The Champions
Tension mounting: Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell waited to learn who won the NBC show
The Champions spin-off featured 50 contestants from franchises around the world – including legends from Got Talent history such Susan Boyle and Paul Potts – that were whittled down to the final 12 for the two-hour finale.
‘We can say tonight we’re gonna crown the best of the best of the best of the best of the best,’ Simon Cowell, 59, said.
Howie Mandel, 63, called the final face-off between the finalists ‘the most amazing show’ he had ever seen, saying: ‘The best magic, the best music, the best danger, the best comedy … and we survived.’
Amazing show: The 12 finalists were praised by Howie for being the best in all genres
The ultimate decision was made by superfans from all 50 states – perhaps explaining why the two most recent winners from America came out on top.
Shin, meanwhile, called it ‘very stressful’ waiting for the decision, saying: ‘My heart’s beating a lot. But I’m really lucky and I’m really honored and very grateful.’
Earlier in the finale he got to show his magic on host Terry Crew’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star Melissa Fumero.
The host: Terry kept the two-hour finale moving
They both screwed up a card and put it in their mouths – with Shin showing how the cards were swapped in front of their eyes. Melissa, 36, also kissed her card to leave lipstick proving it was hers – and a picture he took of her before starting his act showed her holding the very same card.
As they waited for the decision, Darci cracked up everyone as she admitted: ‘I feel like I’m gonna puke.’
She laughed as she added: ‘But I really wanted to be in the top two, it’s really cool.’
Fan favorite: Darci previously won season 12 of AGT in 2017
Darci admitted it was amazing she even got that far, having been voted off earlier and saved thanks to a wild card.
‘Getting the wild card and being here – I want this to be the greatest comeback ever,’ she said.
Darci – who Terry called ‘one of the most amazing performers in the history of the show’ – also performed, alongside Rowlf the Dog from the Muppets.
Standing ovation: Heidi and Simon stood up and applauded as Shin was named the winner
Her elderly puppet Edna complained about Simon not calling – leading to a performance of the Carpenters’ Can’t Smile Without You.
At the end, Simon went up to kiss Edna, telling her: ‘I actually love you. And I’m sorry I didn’t call.’
‘He makes my heart flutter. I love you Simon!’ Darci’s Edna gushed after pretending to pass out.
Top top: Darci and Shin finished in the top two after voting by superfans from all 50 states
Host Terry, 50, initially announced a top five, with Cristina Ramos the first through – seeing off Brian Justin Crum and Kechi.
‘Bummer,’ Simon said as the two favorites left.
Darci was the next through – causing a huge upset as Susan Boyle, who had arguably the biggest impact in the franchise’s history, was forced out along with magician Jon Dorenbos.
Talented teen: The 14-year-old ventriloquist performed with Edna and Rowlf the Dog from the Muppets
Magic man: Jon Dorenbos was forced out with Susan Boyle as Darci advanced to the top five
‘Unbelievable,’ Simon chuckled nervously as she left.
Her fellow Britain’s Got Talent sensation Paul Potts soon followed, leaving along with young singer Angelica Hale, 11, as comedian Preacher Lawson, a finalist in AGT’s season 12 in 2017, got the next spot.
Sand artist Kseniya Simonova, who had the lowest profile as the 2009 winner of the TV contest Ukraine’s Got Talent as well as the most unusual act, was a huge surprise in getting the penultimate spot.
Up close: Shin performed a close-up magic card routine with Terry Crew’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-star Melissa Fumero
Shin then got the final spot, leaving knife-throwers Deadly Games out of contention.
Terry wasted no time in knocking off the top five, with 27-year-old Preacher Lawson’s joy at getting through ending just minutes later.
‘It’s been the world to me, y’all changed my life,’ he said. ‘I don’t feel I lost at all, being up here with all these people.’
Personal touch: Melissa, 36, also kissed her card to leave lipstick proving it was hers
Mel B vowed to see his show soon, saying: ‘I have loved you from the moment I have seen you.’
Cristina Ramos – the operatic rock singer from the Spanish show who caused one of the biggest stirs on Champions – was next to leave, in fourth place.
‘I’m so happy that we got to know and love you here in America,’ Heidi told her. ‘You are a champion.’
True champion: Heidi praised Cristina Ramos for being a true champion
Next out was sand artist Kseniya getting third place with Howie telling her she was ‘so wonderful’ as well as ‘unique’ and ‘original.’
It left the showdown between Darci Lynne Farmer and Shin Lim, with Terry saying: ‘They are the best of the best but only one act can win.’
Some of the finalists also teamed up for unique performances for the finale.
Brian Justin Crum and Cristina Ramos joined together for Queen’s The Show Must Go On – with Deadly Games showing off their knife-throwing tricks amid a backdrop of flames.
The creator: Simon Cowell created the Got Talent franchise and recently has been a judge on America’s Got Talent
Preacher, meanwhile, had a skit looking for a partner, joining Deadly Games before using a sock as a puppet alongside Darci Lynne – and also joining to co-host with Terry.
He begged the singers for duets, breaking glass as he tried to hit high notes.
‘I’d stick to comedy,’ Paul told him.
The night was also a chance for other favorites from the franchise getting another shot onstage, too.
Together again: The judges were excited to see other favorites return to perform on the AGT stage
It started with the Voices of Hope Children’s Choir from last year’s AGT performing with hip pianist Tokio Myers, who won the British version of the show in 2017.
‘I’m just drifting down from heaven after that,’ Simon said. ‘Two of my favorite performers together. Amazing.’
The Clairvoyants later got Terry to shoot balls into the audience, with the judges’ names on some, and the audience members who randomly caught those also proving to have photos of the correct judge named on their ball.
Fan favorites: Voices of Hope Children’s Choir from last year’s AGT performed with hip pianist Tokio Myers
Howie, however, had a photo of a giant balloon handed to him from his ball-catching audience member – putting his head into a giant cutout photo that proved to be the same image once turned around.
Jackie Evancho, the youngest alumni from the show to go platinum, wore a striking aqua-colored gown for her performance of Somewhere from her Broadway covers album.
Cirque du Soleil also performed a number from Mystère, with the amazing acrobatic group celebrating 25 years on the Las Vegas strip.
Magical voice: Jackie Evancho, the youngest alumni from the show to go platinum, wore a striking aqua-colored gown for her performance of Somewhere from her Broadway covers album
There was also a surprise appearance by Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon.
The finalists were shown watching their first performances – some in tears – while Simon also recalled the history of the shows.
‘The pilot was terrible. It was over-complicated, it was too long, and it wasn’t picked up,’ he said of the British show. ‘It was dead in the water.’
Top twelve: The top gathered on the stage as the field was narrowed down
But NBC called, with Simon saying: ‘If it wasn’t for them there would be no Got Talent here or anywhere else in the world.’
He singled out Susan’s performance as one that ‘went crazy’ and made him realize the show had a ‘much bigger reach than any of us could have imagined.’
Heidi also admitted being heartbroken when she read that Mel B got the judging job ahead of her – until she got the call saying she was hired, too.
It was recently revealed that neither Heidi nor Mel will be back as judges on America’s Got Talent.
Singing star: Susan Boyle was singled out by Simon for expanding the reach of the show