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Filipino-American contestant Angelica Hale finished in second place on the twelfth season of America’s Got Talent. In a two-hour final that was broadcast on Wednesday night and featured the competition’s 10 remaining acts, the American public voted for the nine-year-old singer as the runner-up to winner Darci Lynne Farmer, a 12-year-old singing ventriloquist.
Dance group Light Balance finished in third, while deaf singer-songwriter Mandy Harvey placed fourth. Sara and Hero, a dog act, completed the competition’s top five. Farmer, who has been the frontrunner since the audition stage, will receive a US$1 million cash prize.
The final episode also featured performances by guest musicians Shania Twain, James Arthur and Kelly Clarkson. Hale and fellow contestant Kechi Okwuchi performed with Clarkson on stage to sing the pop star’s hit Stronger. “This was so much fun and a dream come true,” Hale said. “Kelly Clarkson is an incredible person and awesome performer — so happy to have shared this special moment.”
On Tuesday’s episode, which featured the final solo performance of each finalist, Hale delivered a powerful cover of Clean Bandit’s track Symphony. She received praises from the judging panel, comprised of Heidi Klum, Mel B, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell.
“Oh my gosh, I mean you’re only four-feet tall — but you are a giant, you really are,” Klum said. “You are unbelievable. For me, I think you are the best singer we have in this entire competition.”
Cowell told Hale: “You are a star in the future.”
On her official Facebook page, Hale wrote: “Thank you so much to all of you who have supported me on my America’s Got Talent journey. One thing is clear — this is only the beginning. I am literally the happiest girl in the world and nothing can take that away!”