Schoolgirl, 12, takes home America’s Got Talent $1m prize

Pint-sized Grace VanderWaal corwned winner of talent show

This is the 12-year-old schoolgirl who has been crowned the winner of America’s Got Talent taking home a whopping $1m prize.

Grace VanderWaal isn’t even a teenager yet.

But on Wednesday night she showed that despite her young age, she was a powerhouse performer on the season 11 finale of the hit NBC show.

The ukulele player was unsurprisingly overcome with emotion as she sank to her knees and burst into tears when host Nick Cannon announced she was the champion.

Grace, who has been compared by Simon Cowell to Taylor Swift, beat out mind-reading duo The Clairvoyants, with NFL star and magician Jon Dorenbos finishing in third place.

Howie Mandel, who championed the singer and struck his Golden Buzzer for her, bounded up onto the stage to hug the little girl as tears streamed down her face and she had to be comforted.

‘These are tears of joy right?’ asked Nick as the youngster sobbed at the conclusion of the live show at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

‘Yes, of course,’ she managed to reply as her achievement sank in.

Howie told her: ‘You sang that every person is a shining star, well you are a shooting star. You are on your way, you are so special,’

Nick kicked off the two-hour show by revealing that tens of millions of votes had been received following the live performance show on Tuesday and it had been the biggest ever vote for AGT.

The show then recapped the performances of all 10 contestants as well as the back stage reactions afterwards before the contestants took part in mash-up performances with guest stars.

Following the show the judges took to social media to congratulate the pint-sized star.

Model Heidi Klum wrote: Congratulations @GraceVanderWaal …. you are an AMAZING little girl’

Simon Cowell posted a photo of the judges and Grace alongside the caption “What a fantastic night @nbcagt. And congratulations to @grace_vanderwaal So well deserved.’

A stunned Grace also posted on Instagram saying how her dreams had come true.

Nancy Brown
Associate Editor