Grace Vanderwaal Wins America’s Got Talent 2016

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Finale Results" Episode 1123 -- Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Grace VanderWaal, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

And the WINNER of America’s Got Talent is 12 year old singer songwriter Grace Vanderwaal! Congrats.

Grace won over viewers with her clever musical performances and talent and faced tough competition, including finalists Laura Bretan, The Clairvoyants, Brian Justin Crum, Jon Dorenbos, Sofie Dossi, Viktor Kee, Linkin’ Bridge, Tape Face and Sal Valentinetti.

This season of America’s Got Talent concluded at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood with a live finale featuring performances by the 10 finalists along with Paula Abdul, Il Volo, Jersey Boys, Stevie Nicks and The Silhouettes.

Watch host Nick Cannon announce the good news right here:

Grace, who lives in New York, began writing songs when she was 3 and loved performing her originals for family. She took piano lessons at 4 and started playing the saxophone when she was 10. For the singer’s 11th birthday, she bought a ukulele with her birthday money and learned to play by watching YouTube videos. She has grown as an artist by performing at various open mic nights around New York and New Jersey and continues to learn music theory from a local musician.

Grace will headline inside the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on October 27-29. She will be joined by The Clairvoyants and Tape Face as well. Ticket information can be found at or by phone at (702) 777-2782 or (855) 234-7469.

BONUS VIDEO! Watch Grace reprise her self-penned song, “I Don’t Know My Name.”

After the singer’s win, judge Simon Cowell said backstage:

“That moment at the end, it reminded me of the Kelly Clarkson moment,” Cowell, 56, told reporters after the show. “You know, when they said, ‘And the winner is Kelly Clarkson.’ I kind of had that same feeling again when they read her name out, and I saw her reaction and she was literally in pieces. I like that though.”

Judge Mel B thinks Grace is “in her own lane.”

“She’s 12 years old and she’s an amazing songwriter,” she told reporters. “She’s got a unique amazing voice, and I think go for it!”

Backstage, judge Howie Mandel was effusive in his praise of the young singer. “She is golden. She is [an] amazing grace. She is a shooting star. She is the brightest spot,” said Howie.

Host Nick Cannon said to reporters that he knew all along Grace would win, “I’m not going to say I called it, but I’ve been saying that young girl is a superstar since the moment that I met her. Her energy. Her vibration. Her light is so real now the world is about to see even more.”

On the judges comparing her to Taylor Swift, Grace said backstage, “Honestly, all celebrities have flack and stuff around them, but what it all comes down to is that they’re all amazing musicians that all write amazing songs – to even have someone think about comparing me to someone like that is just truly amazing.”

How does Grace want to spend her million dollar prize? She told Parade magazine:

“I want to give to charity, probably a music charity. Also, I want to go on Treehouse Masters and get a treehouse. It’s been a lifelong dream. I remember my dad once told me he was going to build a treehouse, and he put three wooden planks on the trunk, but nothing else. So, I am going to try to get Treehouse Master to do it for me.”

Imagine how fun that would be. In the winter, when you’re playing in the snow, you could go up there and make some hot cocoa in your socks and then zipline over [to the house].”

About mj santilli 33321 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!