Dustin Tavella is the winner of AGT season 16. Some fans are happy about the magician’s success, but many others think he didn’t deserve to win.
Season 16 of America’s Got Talent came to a close on Wednesday, September 15 after magician Dustin Tavella was crowned the winner, but some fans are unhappy with the result. From his initial audition, Dustin was known for his incredible magic and uplifting messages. But where some fans were extremely happy with his win, others have taken to social media to express that they think other acts deserved it more.
Ten acts were brought to the finale show, including all the Golden Buzzer recipients (with the exception of Simon’s Nightbirde, who dropped out of the competition after auditions). Surprisingly, however, the only Golden Buzzer to make it to the top five was the quick-changing magician Léa Kyle, who came in fifth place. Among the other finalists were singer Brooke Simpson in fourth, comedian Josh Blue in third, and aerialist Aidan Bryant in second. After each act got a chance to perform with celebrity guests, the pressure was on as they awaited the reveal of the winner. When Terry Crews announced Dustin would take home the million dollars, the judges and audience were on their feet. But with the wide range of opinions on acts, some fans would’ve preferred to see someone else win, like World Taekwondo Demonstration or young opera singer Victory Brinker.
Runner-up Aidan Bryant delivered a finale act so spectacular, judge Simon Cowell actually stood on his desk to applaud the 16 year old, saying a regular standing ovation just wasn’t enough. Josh Blue previously won Last Comic Standing and therefore had a large fanbase rooting for him. A look into the comments section of YouTube’s winner reveal video will show an abundance of unhappy viewers, with some even insisting that AGT should release the voting statistics. Below Dustin’s final performance video posted on YouTube by America’s Got Talent, users displayed disbelief at how he won with an act that would have Penn and Teller “shaking their heads.” One user commented, “Would have liked to see an acrobat or danger act finally win it and Aidan was a great rep for that category.” Another remarked, “I cannot believe he won. He should have an inspirational YouTube channel, not a spot in Vegas. He’s not bad at all, just not an act I’d go all the way to Vegas (and pay lots) for.”
While Dustin delivered magic acts the average person couldn’t do, some viewers compared his work to previous winning magicians, seeing his performance as lackluster. Before Dustin, Mat Franco and Shin Lim were the only magicians to win the show. According to some Twitter users, the two – as well as top 10 contestants of various seasons, like Piff the Magic Dragon, Jon Dorenbos, and the Clairvoyants – set the standard so high, and Dustin failed to meet expectations. One Twitter user, @royallyqueer, said, “Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Dustin, but he wasn’t even in my top 5 tonight…He’s good, but he fell below the high bar set for magicians by Shin Lim.”
When Dustin was first brought to the show, he mentioned how he and his wife had adopted a child. Later, he announced a second adoption and said he would incorporate his childrens’ stories into his act. He was known for delivering meaningful messages throughout his performances, inspiring the audience and judges. But others saw this as just another person getting votes for having a “sob story” to back up their act. “People probably voted because sad story=votes rather than having a talent. I can tell a story with double sided cards too,” Twitter user @QueenDeShanira said. Dustin Tavella may have won America’s Got Talent, but that doesn’t mean he’s the only act that will be successful. Previous acts, like violinist Lindsey Stirling, have proven they don’t need to win the show in order to get their name out there. Dustin’s win is set in stone and fans can’t change that, but they can continue to hope their favorites make it in the industry too.
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