Michael Grimm grew up in South Mississippi where his grandparents raised him. His grandmother took him to church on Sundays, where she played the piano at the service. This was where Michael fell in love with music. His grandmother inspired him and encouraged him to pursue his newfound love. At the age of 12, he started working at local bars. As he grew older, he perfected his guitar playing, vocals and songwriting skills, listening to different styles of music while he continued to write his own. In 2000, Michael was encouraged to move to Las Vegas because of the abundance of work. He worked in Las Vegas with many different artists, learning and playing a wide variety of musical styles. He eventually formed his own three-piece band, working in small local bars, casino lounges, and a few Vegas steakhouses. When he auditioned for America’s Got Talent, he had a goal. That goal was to show his appreciation to his grandparents. Just like many others, his grandparents lost everything in the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Michael would like to offer his grandparents a home. America’s Got Talent can be the vehicle to help him achieve his goal.
The ‘America’s Got Talent’ winner for season 5 was named Wednesday night, after a summer filled with magicians, aerialists, dance troupes and opera singers. So who won ‘America’s Got Talent’?
In a shocking finale outcome, singer Michael Grimm triumphed over early favorite, 10-year-old opera singer Jackie Evancho, to win the $1 million prize and a Las Vegas show.
“Is this really happening?” asked the 30-year-old singer in disbelief, then screamed, “Yes!”
Meanwhile, a disappointed but gracious Evancho raved about her ‘America’s Got Talent’ experience. “I have loved every single moment,” she said. “I just really hope I’ll be able to sing for you guys again.”
Black light illusionists Fighting Gravity took third place and the flamboyant opera dandy Prince Poppycock was in fourth.
Most prognosticators picked Evancho or Poppycock. After the top 4 performance night, TV Squad’s own Isabelle Carreau wrote Grimm wasn’t “fresh or unique enough to win.” And readers voted Evancho as most likely to take the crown. Even Grimm himself seemed prepared to lose after performing, telling TV Squad that “I gave it all I could” and that at least “now, I have a fan base.”
The audience gasped when the first eliminee turned out to be Poppycock (real name: John Andrew Quale), who has been the talk of the season. Still, his final competition performance may not have been his best — at least according to judge Piers Morgan, who infamously gave him a strike Tuesday night.
After getting eliminated, Poppycock, as mysterious and strange as ever, told Morgan, “I just want to say thank you to Piers. You see, I was promised a horse but I only got two guys in horse heads, so Piers intuitively understood I needed a horse’s behind.”
To that, Morgan replied, “I do think I made a mistake [buzzing you]. I do … I should’ve buzzed you about 10 seconds earlier. [The audience boos] I’m kidding!”
The judge continued, “You’ve been an incredible contestant this year and although I thought you had a bit of a bad day at the office … when I watched you with Donna Summer on this stage, that is what you are. That is when you are at your best: when you’re being camp and funny and flamboyant and outrageous and a cross between Elton John, Freddy Mercury, Liberace. That is our Prince Poppycock … You are a star. You will be a star.”
The finale featured a number of star-studded performances, including duets by Poppycock and Summer, Grimm and Jewel, Fighting Gravity and Lionel Richie and Evancho and Sarah Brightman.