It was a season that pitted the best of the best performers from around the world in a do-or-die talent competition.
In the end, it wasn’t a plucky underdog or a fan-favorite wildcard that took home the grand prize on America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
Instead, magician Shin Lim, a judges’ darling and the winner of AGT’s last season, walked away the champion. In the process, he became the first contestant to win two AGT season back to back.
Check out the final mind-bending performance that won the season for Shin Lim:
Lim, 27, wowed the audience with his same brand of close-up card tricks in both seasons, but managed to keep things fresh with new, impressive feats of prestidigitation in each appearance.
But stiff competition from the other finalists gave Lim a run for the $25,000 grand prize.
Comedian Preachers Lawson snagged fifth place, Spanish singer Cristina Ramos took fourth, sand painter Kseniya Simonova earned third place for her emotional performances, and ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer came in second place.
Surprisingly, Britain’s Got Talent standout Susan Boyle didn’t even break the top five, as voters from across the country were apparently not impressed by her new take on “I Dreamed A Dream.”
Rowlf the Muppet joined Darci Lynne and her elderly puppet Edna for a sweet song on the results show:
Despite wowing the judges again and again with his incredible magic skills, Lim was very humble about his win in an interview with People after the finale.
“To be honest, when I’m watching back all the acts, my fiancée Casey and I are like, ‘How the hell did I win this?'” he said.
“Everyone is so good, if not better. Some of the acts were better than me. I don’t think I can call myself the champion of champions because I don’t really believe it.”
See Lim’s final card trick from the finale:
Lim even suggested his runner-up actually deserved the top spot. “[Darci Lynne] can sing, she can do comedy, all with her mouth closed,” he said. “And she sang opera, for God’s sake.”
Some fans were inclined to agree with Lim, as they cheered on acts like Susan Boyle and Darci Lynne to take the top spot. But overall, audiences seem to agree the magician was a deserving winner.
Lim actually revealed he considered turning down Champions, out of concern that two AGT runs in under six months would be too much, too fast.
“I’m glad I didn’t and decided to go for it,” he said. “I initially turned Champions down because I wanted to do new stuff, I didn’t want to do repeat acts. But I decided to do it and see what happens.”
Now, we’re sure Lim is feeling very happy with his results. But don’t expect him back on stage anytime soon – his next priority is marrying his fiance this summer, and he admits to falling behind on planning because of his AGT appearances.