The viewers have voted, and The Olate Dogs act was crowned winner of "America's Got Talent" Season 7. The canine superstars and their trainers join past victors: vocalist Bianca Ryan, ventriloquist Terry Fator, opera performer Neal E. Boyd, country music's Kevin Skinner, soul singer Michael Grimm, and crooner singer Michael Grimm.
The final six acts got sage advice from the 'AGT' judgesOf course, the barker's bulls-eye means that five other finalists went home without the $1 million cash prize and promise of the chance to headline their own show in Las Vegas. But they didn't go home with nothing. In a recent conference call interview, the final six talked about the best advice the judges gave them.
Throughout the competition, sand story artist Joe Castillo was known for transforming dirt into emotionally moving imagery. Judges Howie Mandel, Sharon Osbourne, and Howard Stern were all fans of his work. But Stern took issue with one component of Castillo's presentation -- his signature beret.
Joe Castillo ignored fashion advice from Howard SternCastillo jokingly said that the most memorable advice came from Stern, and it was about his controversial fashion statement. He laughed, "Howard Stern told me to get rid of the beret, but America voted, and they have overwhelmingly wanted me to keep it."
David Garibaldi focused on the end productDavid Garibaldi also created works of art right before the audience's eyes on "AGT." Along with his CMYK team, he would dance and splash bold colors of paint on canvases, revealing dramatic images with seconds to spare. In the semifinals, his performance didn't seem to have the same consistent energy that Garibaldi had carried through other presentations.
He acknowledged, "The best advice that I got last week from Howard Stern was just to remember that the end product is always what's important in the style of art that I create. Howie said, 'Keep it entertaining, as you've been doing.' So it's been great advice from both sides to keep the quality high on the entertainment value but also the finished product of the piece."
Some contestants learned that youth and innovation matter"AGT's" youngest finalist, 8-year-old Ruby from the dance troupe The Untouchables chimed in, "The judges told us to stick to what we do, because that's what we do best. And stay with our originality because they think that it's very good for our youth and age."
One of the front-runners, Earth Hart creator William Close learned something from Stern, too. The innovative musician recalled, "Howard said that he felt really like he was watching the birth of something new. And that's what I have been trying to do with that comment, is every time bring a new experience to the act so that it's always unfolding and offering something cool and interesting."
And others discovered that confidence and professionalism are keyFirst runner-up Tom Cotter took inspiration from fellow comedian, Mandel. "Howie has said to remain confident, which is tough to do when you've got 19 million people watching you."
But perhaps Nick Olate, who trained the prize-winning dogs with his dad, Richard, benefitted most from the judges' words of wisdom. As he recounted, "The judges seem to like it when people keep it very professional. So I would say that that's definitely the most important piece of advice that I've heard so far. Keep your wardrobe professional, keep your music professional, and keep your talent professional." Clearly the advice paid off.
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- Arts & Entertainment
- Howard Stern
- Howie Mandel
- Michael Grimm