Storytelling Magician Dustin Tavella Wins AGT
A Shocking End Result to a Well Represented Finale
The end result of America’s Got Talent has left me disappointed in recent years, and this year was no exception. So, while magician Dustin Tavella’s win surprised me, my disappointment did not surprise me at all. (Read our Finale Recap)
Maybe, Simon Cowell wasn’t surprised either. He probably does know the voting numbers from previous weeks. Although he did tell several acts that they had a chance to win, he was more specific with Dustin last night, predicting that he would be one of the final 2 standing.
Not that other shows haven’t disappointed me, but I tend not to agree with the end result of AGT. It seems that in recent years, storyline has carried throughout entire seasons.
AGT has been all about the story in recent years
Yes, American Idol and even The Voice start off with these emotional storytelling auditions, but then often they make way for the talent (sort-of at least), but AGT in recent years has been all about the story. The last two acts to win are storytelling acts; Brandon Leake spoken word artist who won Season 15, and Dustin Tavella who won Season 16 tonight. And if we go one more winner back, 2 seasons ago, winner Kodi Lee, although very talented, had an emotional story as well. The last winner to win based on sheer talent was magician Shin Lim, who took the crown 3 years ago.
Nevertheless, I was quite satisfied with how well-represented the final 5 were. Most represented the types of acts that don’t win the show. Quick change artist Lea Kyle, indigenous pop star Brooke Simpson, Stand-up comedian Josh Blue, Aerial artist and runner-up Aiden Bryant, and finally magician Dustin Tavella. Out of this group, only singers and magicians have won, so we were so close to an historic ending.
I had never expected to see Dustin as the winner, let alone in the top 3. Going into tonight, I thought it must be Josh, Brooke, or Aiden. Or maybe Northwell Health Nurse Choir had the slightest chance. Enough with the history bits and disappointment though, as the focus is on Dustin Tavella. I will acknowledge that everyone in the finale was at least talented, and that Dustin is a very talented performer even if he wasn’t my choice to win. He could be a motivational speaker; the guy does have a way with words.
Dustin Tavella and Mat Franco Finale Performance
He often taught life lessons in his performances and was inspiring, particularly his audition that featured his adopted sons. People truly do have a love for magic, and I think that’s another factor to his victory. His presentations tended to be solid and confident even if he did have a few minor slip ups on the way. He’s the third magician to win, next to Season 9’s Mat Franco and Season 13’s Shin Lim. His act was less magic focused, and more storytelling focused. Similar acts from the past have run the risk of being too sentimental. But Dustin did sell it well. I didn’t think he sold it quite well enough to win, but people must have enjoyed his act. It’ll be interesting to see if this streak of emotion/story-based acts continues in future seasons, but ultimately Dustin won and is the reigning champion.
Dustin’s winning final performance
Dustin Tavella’s winning prize is $1 million (or so they say as it’s over the amount of a lot of years) and a headlining Vegas show at Luxor Hotel and Casino.