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'America's Got Talent' crowns Olate Dogs canine act seventh-season winner


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 09/14/2012 

America's Got Talent  has gone to the dogs.

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The NBC reality talent competition crowned canine act Olate Dogs its seventh-season champion during Thursday night's live finale broadcast.

Olate Dogs, a canine act trained by a father-and-son team from New York, NY, 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 Wednesday night's live performance episode which featured performances from the competition's Top 6 remaining acts.

"My dad is infatuated with these dogs. He's in love with them completely. I think he's more one of the dogs than a trainer. They are performers but they are still dogs, and they will never stop being dogs," Nicolas Olate said after America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon announced the act's victory.

"My dogs [are] my family. My dogs [are] my life," added Richard Olate, who hugged his son and dogs in tears.

Tom Cotter, a standup comedian from Stoney Point, NY, finished as America's Got Talent's seventh-season runner-up.

"I want my kids to be proud of me. This is by far, in a way, the biggest thing I've ever done," Tom said during a video montage which featured his best moments throughout the competition. "[My experience was] unbelievable. It was really great and I'm going to fall down the stairs and get my own million dollars tonight."

William Close, a musician and inventor from Los Angeles, CA who created the "Earth harp," finished in third -- a placement which seemed to shock the judges and the audience because he was believed to be a frontrunner this season.

"I'd just like to say that I made it to third place on this amazing stage and that rocks! I really would just love to thank this show. This show is amazing. It allows a person like me, who's pushing boundaries and coming up with new ideas, a place to share what he does. Thank you so much," William explained.

Fourth place went to David Garibaldi and his CMYK's, performance painters from Sacramento, CA.

"This has been the most amazing journey in my life. On behalf of all of us, we want to thank God, we want to thank our families, we want to thank America for voting, the judges. But I also want to dedicate our journey to an amazing artist who paved the way for me to do this -- [the] man... who invented this style," an optimistic David told the audience, judges and viewers.

Joe Castillo, a sand story artist from Lexington, KY, claimed fifth place.

"[America's Got Talent] was wonderful, and I'd especially like to thank America, all the people who voted. I thank the judges, thank you Nick and AGT for the privilege of being on this stage. God has given me a wonderful opportunity to tell sand stories, and I will continue to do that," Joe declared proudly following the announcement of his placement.

Landing in sixth place happened to be The Untouchables, a child dance act from Fort Lauderdale, FL, who were obviously disheartened by their loss. However, after noticing one of the youngest girls crying, America's Got Talent judge Sharon Osbourne gave the group a little pep talk and also acknowledged her previously-announced plans to leave the show.

"It was amazing. We're so glad we got to the finals and we couldn't ask for anymore," said a male representative from the dancing act.

"I would like to say you should be so proud of yourselves. You have come so far in this contest. Don't be sad little ones, because it's my last show too, so we'll both be leaving together hand in hand. Smile. This is just the beginning for you guys, okay?" Sharon told the group.

Prior to revealing the results, America's Got Talent's finale broadcast featured each of the six acts performing a duet with an established celebrity, singer or group.

William Close accompanied One Republic on his Earth harp, Olate Dogs and The Untouchables performed with singer Frankie J., Tom Cotter roasted Sharon and fellow judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel alongside Joan Rivers, Joe Castillo told a sand story with the help of the PS22 children's chorus, and David Garibaldi and his CMYK's danced and painted to a Flo Rider performance.

America's Got Talent's seventh-season finale episode also featured performances from Ne Yo, The Rangers, Green Day, Justin Bieber, and Blue Man Group.



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