Zerdin had been favourite to win season 10 of 'America's Got Talent' ever since the first rounds.
‘America’s Got Talent’ has been won by a British performer for the first time. Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, already an established performer back in his homeland, beat nine other finalists, including two other British acts, to win the grand prize of $1 million and his own Vegas show in Wednesday night’s final.
Ever since the early rounds, Zerdin and his popular characters Sam, Baby and Albert were placed as the bookies’ favourite to win the tenth season of the NBC reality talent contest. His eventual victory was announced in the live final last night, which came from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Paul Zerdin won season 10 of 'America's Got Talent'
“There's a reason Paul breezed through every single time he came on, because he is a master at what he does. He's taking the art of ventriloquism to new heights,” departing judge Howard Stern (leaving after serving four years on the panel) said.
Immediately after the performance, former Spice Girl Mel B was also effusive in her praise for Zerdin, saying: “You're a well-polished act, you're flawless.”
As a result of his win, Londoner Zerdin will be the headline performer at a special ‘America’s Got Talent Live’ revue in Las Vegas from October 22nd-24th at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.
The runner-up was the stammering stand-up comedian Drew Lynch, while fellow Brit Stevie Starr – known as ‘the professional regurgitator’ – came fourth. Magician John van der Put, also from the British isles, who performs as Piff the Magic Dragon, was also in the final ten.
Zerdin is a seasoned veteran of children’s TV in Britain, making a number of appearances on the BBC and ITV in the 1990s. He’s the second-ever ventriloquist to win ‘America’s Got Talent’, after Terry Fator in 2007 who reportedly went on to make over $100 million over a five year residency at the Mirage hotel in Vegas.