Jon Dorenbos' incredible run on America's Got Talent is over, as he finished in third place.
Dorenbos dazzled audiences and judges with his magic tricks and life story. Dorenbos turned to magic to help him cope with tragedy of his father murdering his mother when Dorenbos was 12. Throughout his run to the finale, Dorenbos stunned judges with his incredible tricks, particularly wowing the hard to please Simon Cowell. He capped off his run in the finale with an inspirational message of the power of positive thinking and forgiveness.
After the finale performances on Tuesday, the judges were effusive in their praise of Dorenbos.
Simon Cowell is on the same page. "By the feeling in the room, that's what I felt," he added. The notoriously tough judge deemed VanderWaal an instant superstar, but admitted that it was Dorenbos that ultimately won over his heart. "I don't know why, but I got very emotional during the performance. And I don't normally feel that way," he said. "There is something about him and what he said that was so genuine and it's unique. He's going to go a long way."
Dorenbos was especially proud of his finale performance, which had a relatively subdued magic trick that focused on his tragic but inspirational background.
Dorenbos, who left the show's entire cast fired up from his motivational magic trick, told Billboard that he considered his Tuesday night performance to be his best non-football-related feat to date "I always wanted to be a rock star," he explained. "I think that would be the greatest job in the world, but I'm an awful singer, I can't dance, and I can't play an instrument. So instead of playing music, I thought this was the time to come in with an acoustic ballad and open up myself and take them on a little journey." He also joked that he's hoping to win both the Super Bowl and America's Got Talent within the next year.
12 year old singer/songwriter Grace Vanderwaal won the competition, with mentalists The Clairvoyants finishing as runners up.