'America's Got Talent' crowns Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. champion
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/15/2011
America's Got Talent crowned Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. its sixth-season champion during Wednesday night's live finale broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
The singer from Logan, WV won America's Got Talent's grand prize of $1 million and the opportunity to headline a show in Las Vegas based on home viewer votes cast following Tuesday night's live performance episode which featured performances from the competition's four remaining acts.
"Thank you so much for just believing in me and letting me be myself on national television in front of the whole world. This is so incredible. It's been a long hard journey. I've been busting my butt out here for this for so long and it's finally paying off, man," Landau, who appeared genuinely shocked to hear America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon announce his victory, said in tears.
Silhouettes, an interpretive dance act from Arvada, CO, finished as America's Got Talent's sixth-season runner-up.
"We all share one thing in common, and that is our love for dance. I would do anything to be able to dance. I just love it. It takes a lot to bond a family together and these children have done that," a member of the dance act said in a video montage played before the results were revealed.
Team iLuminate, glow suit dancers from New York, NY, finished in third place.
"This was the most amazing experience of our lives. We've just gotten closer as a family. We thank America for this opportunity. We thank the judges for all this positive feedback. We're just going to keep creating and see what else we can do, so thank you," a glow suit dancer told Nick.
Pop Lyfe, a teen band from Oakland, CA, came in fourth place, and Nick asked them what their favorite memory will be.
"Probably the one we just made. Regardless of what just happened, we had the best experiences of our lives. This is such an amazing thing that nobody gets to do and we got to perform with our idol. That's one of the things that we wanted to conquer in life and we just lived our dream. We had so much fun. We had fun," a Pop Lyfe member explained following her group's elimination.
Prior to revealing the results, America's Got Talent's finale broadcast featured each of the four acts performing a duet with an established singer or group. Landau sang with Patti LaBelle, Silhouettes performed with LeAnn Rimes, Pop Lyfe sang with Stevie Wonder, and Team iLuminate performed with Cobra Starship.
America's Got Talent's finale episode also featured performances from Def Leppard, fifth-season America's Got Talent runner-up Jackie Evancho, Tony Bennett, Queen Latifah, a Cirque Du Soleil act, and OneRepublic.