America’s Got Talent will crown its eighth winner tonight during its season finale. After months of auditions, performances, and listening to Heidi Klum‘s random judging comments, we will finally learn who America thinks has talent.
Seven other performers, from a ventriloquist to a dancing dog act to a pint-size singer, have been named the winner of ‘AGT” in the past. Some have gone on to great fame and fortune, while others have struggled to maintain their career. Whatever became of the former winners of ‘America’s Got Talent?’ The Ashley investigates!
SEASON ONE WINNER: 11-Year-Old Singer Bianca Ryan
Then: She was the tiny girl with the big voice that blew everyone away during the first season of ‘AGT.’ She took home the million dollar prize when she was crowned the show’s very first winner.
Now: Now 19 years old, Bianca is currently in college and will star in an upcoming independent movie called “We Be Kings.”
Then: Terry, a showbiz veteran who had been trying to catch his big break for years before auditioning for “AGT,” beat out reggae singer Cas Haley to take the season two crown. Audiences loved his singing puppet act.
Now: Terry is now the most financially successful “AGT” winner to date. He currently headlines a show at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas– a gig that netted him a reported $100 million. In 2010, he married his onstage assistant, who is half his age.
Then: Baby-faced opera singer Neal E. Boyd amazed “AGT” fans with his renditions of “Nessun Dorma” and “All by Myself.”
Now: Now 75 lbs. lighter since his “AGT” days, Neal continues to focus on his weight loss goals, while working on a new album. Last year he entered politics, running for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives, but lost. He plans to run again.
Then: The chicken catcher from Kentucky surprised everyone during the fourth season. Hillbilly Kevin wowed audiences with his beautiful voice and renditions of songs such as Garth Brooks’ “If Tomorrow Never Comes.”
Now: After releasing his debut CD in 2010 and a live album in 2011, work has been slow for Kevin, who had been playing gigs at casinos and clubs. Last month he became a grandfather for the first time.
Then: “AGT” fans were shocked when Las Vegas lounge singer Michael Grimm defeated tiny opera prodigy and fan favorite Jackie Evancho on finale night.
Now: After dealing with a terrible management company assigned to him by “AGT” producers, Michael has finally stepped out on his own. He released a critically praised solo CD and is currently touring the country.
Then: Landau impressed the show’s judges and fans with his smooth, Sinatra-like vocals. The former car wash worker from West Virginia beat shadow dancers The Silhouettes to take the season six crown.
Now: Since winning, Landau has performed to sellout audiences all over the country. In November 2011, he released his first CD, “That’s Life,” which peaked at No. 34 on the U.S. charts. He is currently working on a Christmas album and will soon release an autobiographical book.
Then: Judge Sharon Osborne– and much of America–went wild for Richard and Nick Olate’s dancing dog act. The performing pooches took the crown over comedian Tom Cotter on finale night last year.
Now: Since winning the million dollar prize, the Olate Dogs have continued to perform all over the country at numerous gigs and state fairs. According to Nick, the dogs received a new travel trailer and numerous luxury upgrades after their win! All of the dogs from the show continue to perform and live with the Olates.
Want to know more about what these winners have to say about their time on “AGT”? Get more in-depth updates on these winners, in addition to other ‘America’s Got Talent’ favorites such as Jackie Evancho, Prince Poppycock and Nuttin’ But Stringz in the new book Inside AGT: The Untold Stories of America’s Got Talent, which features interview with nearly all of the show’s former winners, as well as over 60 other former contestants and judges!
Find out the true stories of what goes on behind the scenes of the show— from backstage conditions to the horror stories the contestants tell of the management company the winners are forced to sign with!
The book is available on Amazon and Kindle, and will be available on iBooks very soon. Click here to purchase the book!
Want to read The Ashley’s other “Reality Stars: Where Are They Now?” posts? Click here.