How 'Talent' winner plans to spend $1 million prize
September 16th, 2010
04:34 PM ET

How 'Talent' winner plans to spend $1 million prize

Although some in Hollywood liken reality TV stars to other, more scantily-clad sorts of performers, Michael Grimm doesn't seem like he belongs in that category of fame-seekers.

The 30-year-old blues singer was named the winner of “America’s Got Talent” last night, triumphing over the operatic talents of 10-year-old Jackie Evancho, and he says he’s going to take the $1 million prize money and stick to his original plan: buying his grandparents a home.

From the start, Grimm – who lost almost everything in Hurricane Katrina – had hopes that entering “America’s Got Talent” would eventually help him get a house for his grandparents, who raised him.

“My grandparents don’t have to worry about anything anymore,” he told People. “I can’t put into words what that means to me. They’ve supported me in music through the years, and they’ve seen me fall and get back up and keep going. Now I can take care of them.”

Perhaps the moment was made that much sweeter by the shock of his surprise win. Judge Piers Morgan believed Grimm’s competition, Evancho, to be akin to Susan Boyle.

“I really thought Jackie had it in the bag,” Grimm told People. “I was preparing my speech to leave. I couldn’t believe I heard my name. I was trying to make sure that what I thought was going on was going on, you know? This is definitely an out-of-body experience. This whole journey has been, but especially now.”

We know there are some who are not too happy about Evancho's loss - although iReporter Kathi Cordsen says she's "pleased" with Grimm's win; you can check out her full recap of the show here - but it looks like Evancho’s loss could one day end up a win after all.

Many people thought Susan Boyle was going to best the competition on “Britain’s Got Talent,” but she ended placing second, Morgan pointed out. “Now [Boyle’s] sold millions of albums,” he added. “Jackie’s going to have a superstar’s career.”

Filed under: television

soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. search engine optimization

    It is actually a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    November 21, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Scott

    What kind of moron would vote for this guy over Jackie Evancho?

    September 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LMG

    Who actually thinks a 10-year, boy or girl, should be in Vegas? People must have already forgotten about the youngsters with great voicies that are GONE now because they were pushed to fast too soon. We are pushing these CHILDREN to much.

    Do you think any adult who sings, dances, plays ANY kind of sport didn't have the ability to do that when they were 10!

    She is not old enough to understand a word of what she was singing. He did and WOW did it show.

    Good God, leave her alone and let her be a kid. If she can sing like that now she can sing like that in 5 years. Let her grow up. Let her learn. LET HER FAIL! She's a child singing adult songs. I won't deny that her voice gave me chills because it did and I am greatful for her talent but it NEVER came across to me as being BELIEVABLE. She's 10 years old for goodness sakes!

    September 19, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Judy

    I think America made the right choice. On his first audition night I wrote his name on a piece of paper and told my husband that he would be this years AGT winner. And he is. Go Michael

    September 19, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BlackMammy


    September 18, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
  6. usakindatheart

    las vegas is for adults, that long tour is for adults... I hope they let the winner of britains got talent 2010 perform on the american tour, in texas... we are a very BIG gymnastic state.. hope the building is big enough for the whole state of texas that is coming to see Michael!!!

    September 17, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. dave greenup

    he won this contest just like WWE wins thiers--i am sure the 10 year old didn't win because she is 10–would not look good for the vegas crowd-plus it would cause her to miss alot of school

    September 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Margie

    Besides having an incredible voice and talent, MG is the real deal. His concern for Jackie immediately after he won was amazing and very telling about his character as was the interviews shortly after when he talked about what he would do with the money – build a house for his grandparents and help others in his community who suffered from Katrina. Compare that to the Kardashians spending over $100,000 on 7, count 'em, 7 handbags! I hope celebrity doesn't change Michael and I don't think it will. He will be successful and famous and will use it to help other people. All of the final four will have tremendous opportunities and any of them would have been deserving of the prize, but I am glad that Michael got it and look forward to watching his career grow.

    September 17, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • simpleman

      I'm poor and unfortunate, please help me. It's really a typical American today.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Natalie

    I won't bother voting next year. If the winner is posted online before the live (?) show is even over, that to me is super fishy.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    I only saw the first few episodes, then I stopped watching. I remember Michael Grimm, though. Such a mellow, humble-type of guy, with A LOT of talent. I'm glad he's won, and I hope to hear more of his music in the future.

    September 17, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Synner

    WHY does a singer ALWAYS win this show?? Fighting Gravity would have been the PERFECT act for Las Vegas!

    September 17, 2010 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • SeeOurTourCom

      Music is just more popular. But fighting gravity is great and I'm sure will get a Las Vegas show, that is more of an act for Vegas. Very cool. Fighting Gravity did blow it a bit in the finals.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:55 am | Report abuse |
  12. patti

    You go Michael, I thought you were wonderful and wish you the best with your career. I hope all your dreams for your grandparents come true and you stay the person you are. I was voting for you from day one. I think it was a great year with talent and it's hard to choose just one. You did it congrats!!!

    September 17, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ken

    Good luck to him, since the payout for this contest is $25,000 over 40 years. The small print will get you every time. If the only thing he does is buy them a house he could afford it. After taxes he will have a nice down payment...the first year. Then its payments the rest of his life because NBC are ripping him off. I bet Sharon Osborne, Howie Mandel, and Piers what ever his name is are not getting paid over 40 years. what a crock of crap.

    September 17, 2010 at 9:38 am | Report abuse |
    • usakindatheart

      PIERS Morgan has signed a new £2.6MILLION deal with ITV – after quitting his job on Britain's Got Talent.
      The whopping two-year exclusive contract follows a £12million deal with US channel CNN.
      Last night sources confirmed that Piers's new ITV deal will see him trouser £1million each year for 12 editions of his chatshow, Life Stories – netting him £84,000 a show.
      He will also front six other unspecified shows in the mould of Piers Morgan On... and will bag a further £55,000 for each of these, netting him an extra £330,000 a year.
      As a further incentive, he will get £5,000 for every show that does well in the ratings.
      A show insider – who confirmed Piers has quit BGT – said: "ITV are mad keen on Piers and he has told them he can fit in his Life Stories show around his new CNN gig.
      "He can't do Got Talent though, so he's had to give that up but I think he knew he probably wasn't going to get asked back next year anyway.
      "But he will be doing American's Got Talent, so he'll still have his fair share of idiots."
      Piers, 45, announced plans to move to New York and replace Larry King as the key talk show host on cable channel CNN last week.
      He takes over in January on an initial two-year deal worth £6million a year.
      An ITV source said yesterday: "We're delighted to have secured Piers for another two years.
      "Unfortunately he will not be around to do Britain's Got Talent but this gives us a good opportunity to refresh the panel."

      September 17, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dana Tremblay

    I hope he realizes the million dollars is paid out over 40 years!!! Its an annuity. It was all in the small print after the show credits!!

    September 17, 2010 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • seeourtourcom

      I'll take that annuity! Yeah I know it would suck getting a years wage every year for 40 years and never have to work again. I'm very glad for him, he is truly talented. I will buy his cd (full price). which is something for an internet company, if you know what I mean. I hope he can sell his cd's on his own website and take in more of the profits.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  15. OK

    He is good but kinda a knockoff of Michael Bolton -sound wise. We do not need another Michael Bolton.....

    September 17, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Leddy

      Why you are always saying about Michael Bolton, Who is that! we do not know him, all we know care about is the present winner! Michael Grimm !!!! more power !!!!

      September 24, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
  16. ctelles

    I love and will always love Michael Grimm's talent. People think it's easy to "just sing" its not. As a vocalist I admire his strength and bravery. I look at him as an inspiration. Thank you for giving real talent a reason to pursue our dreams when people are looking for the "it" factor. Congratualtions!

    September 17, 2010 at 3:04 am | Report abuse |
  17. Lianne

    I have been watching snippets on Youtube all the way in South Africa of the America's got talent 2010 show and I thought WOW when I saw Michael Grimm and thought if he doesn't win, then I don't know?? Well done to him, I am so pleased for him, what a heart the young man has to put the needs of others first – what an amazing motivation to sing his heart out to win for his grandparents. I hope he has a smashing career and I look forward to buying his first CD 🙂 Congratulations all the way from Cape Town, South Africa

    September 17, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  18. Jason

    I'm one of those classical music/opera snobs myself, and Jackie really was amazing. As far as technical control, Michael was flawless, Jackie was not. Michael had more control, he executed his performance better, and his pitch was near perfect (Jackie's was not). It's not quite as breathtaking as a 10 year old girl who can sing well beyond her years, but I think assuming Jackie's talent is more polished or stronger would be a mistake. Michael's performance was the best, he deserved to win. Both were awesome.

    September 17, 2010 at 12:55 am | Report abuse |
  19. Mickey

    I think that he deserved to win. He has a great voice and every one of his performances has been wonderful. He has a style that's all his own. Michael Grimm was the only reason I watched AGT. He wowed me with his audition, and I have become a big fan.

    September 16, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  20. b-dog

    He's gonna buy a new stupid looking hat.

    September 16, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Kathi Corsen

    I worry about Jackie's voice changing, she is still a baby, in a few years her voice will be changing drastically. EVery single one of the four deserves to be superstars.

    September 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Jackie's voice will be just fine. Girl's voices don't change as drastically (lower) as boy's do. Her's will only mellow and mature into her early 20s. But I agree she should be in school not Vegas. Michael sounded great even with Strep early on.

      September 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Mark

    The simple answer is – he didn't win by our votes. The vote totals aren't published, nor are they independently checked for accuracy. Just like the NBC talent show for comedians that got caught choosing their own winner, only AGT hasn't fessed up yet. Grimm is the only one of the four finalists that didn't already have offers from Vegas for a show. Also, the worst odds – and I trust odds makers to get it right before I'd trust NBC to actually count the votes.

    We were misled from the beginning. They successfully hinted that the winner would get a Vegas show all their own. Not true. Grimm gets the headline bill on the AGT tour that stops in Vegas ONCE. It's up to whomever in Vegas who wants to offer him a contract or not as to whether he gets his own show. My prediction, he'll have one CD met with lukewarm reception, then it's back to the same obscure place they pull all these generic singers from.

    Jackie's future is more than a tad brighter, just as her talent is.

    September 16, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
  23. annie

    America made the right choice. Listen to his voice its amazing. Way to go Michael !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  24. operageek

    I agee. Grimblows you're definitely tone deaf. I listened to his performance of "When a Man Loves a Woman" over and over again, he delivered that song so well that, I reckon, even better than the original hit. I absolutely loved it. Grimm rightfully deserved the win. As for the 10-year old talent, she will have her fame when she grows up. She belongs in school, not Vegas. Way to go, Michael!

    September 16, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • s

      I agree, the 10 year old will get her time, she is still young. So true that a 10 year old doesn't need to be performing night after night in Las Vegas, she needs to be in school. Michael Grimm has a good voice and the best choice won. I remember listening to when a man loves a woman, and also put your hat on and I loved them. He has a great soulful voice and is very sincere and genuine.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  25. Samantha

    Grimblows, you must be tone deaf. He has an incredible voice. Did you even watch the show. His rendition ofWHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN gave me chills. Couldn't make it to hollywood? you are absolutely insane, he would be top 10 and possibly could win american Idol. In your opinion sanJaya is better. You are ridiculous.

    September 16, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Samantha

    I'm wondering. Now that he won Ameirca's Got Talent, could he also enter American Idol? because he would easily be top ten on AI if not possibly win the entire thing. Does anybody know if he can do that?

    September 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alyssa

      I think you can only be on AI if you don't have a recording contract of any sort. And since Grimm won, he'd be ineligible as part of the deal is a contract in Vegas.

      September 16, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • anon

      unfortunately he's over the age limit for idol.

      September 16, 2010 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Grimblows

    This guy is a joke. He wouldn't have even made it to Hollywood on Idol

    September 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I enjoyed him. You don't have to be the best singer to win people over. He has put a lot of time and heart into his craft and has a great story. That he won has given me hope for viewers in America. Jackie is a great talent and will have a career if she wants one. Frankly, I would find it hard to support giving $1M to a ten-year-old kid. At that age you haven't dedicated a chunk of your life to your work or necessarily even made a conscious decision to do so.

      September 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Grimblows: He opened for Heart last year. Ask your parents who they are. You don't get to open for a voice like Ann Wilson by sucking and if you think he couldn't make it on Idol, I can't wait to see your submission. I think you're jealous. You must have flunked the auditions.

      BTW Evancho "should have won" but YouTube is filled with people saying that she's a fake, or that she sucked, etc. The thing about talentless whackjobs on the internet is, they don't have to post anything to prove that they're worth two turds in a toilet bowl. Grimm did just fine.

      September 16, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • SeeOurTourCom

      You must be a lonely publicity seeker. Write a un-true comment about a very talented guy and wa-laa everybody talks to you. Try this; "Do to others as you would like to have them do to you" (J) you would be happier.

      September 17, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
    • nse

      People this is America's Got Talent! we want variety acts not singers or dancers, Micheal grim and jaackie are both amazing but how many of you are going to spend your night in vegas listening to a singe. Im not, im gonna go watch groups like Fighting Gravity who are the type of act who deserves a show in vegas and who could be successful in vegas

      September 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |

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