Kenichi Ebina wins $1 million grand prize and will headline show in Las Vegas
At the conclusion of an exciting live finale packed with special performances, America crowned Kenichi Ebina the winner of the eighth season of "America's Got Talent" last night.
Ebina wowed viewers with his innovative dance productions, outshining thousands of acts, including finalists Cami Bradley, Collins Key, Forte, Jimmy Rose and Taylor Williamson. The live results show from Radio City Music Hall featured performances by Dierks Bentley, Earth, Wind & Fire, Icona Pop, Il Divo featuring Heather Headley, Gavin DeGraw, Josh Groban, Luke Bryan, and the Rockettes, with guest appearances by Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb and James Lipton.
After learning of his victory, Ebina said, "This is very overwhelming; my mind is blank! I'm excited that America chose me, and can't thank my fans enough for the support and love."
Ebina will appear on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" tonight.
Ebina is a self-taught dancer who infuses illusion, mime and special effects of sound, light and video into each dance performance. Ebina grew up in Japan until he was 20 years old, then moved to Connecticut as a student. In college, he started dance as a hobby, but it quickly became his passion. In 2001, Ebina founded a dance group that won the grand championship of "Amateur Night" at the famed Apollo Theater. A few years later, he returned as a solo performer and won the grand championship again.
Ebina will kick off the nationwide "America's Got Talent Live" tour beginning Sept. 29 in York, Pa. He'll be joined by fan favorites from season eight, including Bradley, Key, Rose, the KriStef Brothers, Taylor Williamson and Tone the Chiefrocca. Visit www.agtlivetour.com for more information and tickets to "America's Got Talent Live." For the latest tour news and updates, also visit www.facebook.com/agttour or twitter.com/agtlivetour.
Auditions for next season of "America's Got Talent" are beginning soon. For information on open call and online auditions for season nine, visit http://www.AGTAuditions.com/.
The 2013-2014 audition cities include:
The eighth season of "America's Got Talent" featured celebrity judges Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howard Stern. With the talent search open to acts of all ages, "America's Got Talent" brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing performers from across the country. Auditions for season eight took the show to numerous cities in search of one-of-a-kind talent, including New Orleans, San Antonio, New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago.
"America's Got Talent" is the No. 1 summer reality series on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox in adults 18-49 and total viewers.
Visit NBC.com's official show site, http://www.nbc.com/americasgottalent/, for more information.