The star magician to headline at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip this year is now the champion of champions on “America’s Got Talent.”
Shin Lim won the finale of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” on Monday night. The dazzling illusionist, who routinely blows minds with his sleight-of-hand card tricks, beat out fellow finalist ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer in the season finale. Sand artist Kseniya Simonova finished third.
Lim, who won this year’s Season 13 championship, performs at The Mirage May 31-June 2 and June 26-28. Later dates might be added as Lim rotates his Strip shows with his touring schedule.
Fittingly, Lim is performing in a theater anchored by and named for long-running Strip headliner and “AGT” champ of Season 2 in 2007, ventriloquist Terry Fator.
Two other “AGT” champs perform in Las Vegas: Magician Mat Franco, headlining in his eponymous theater at Linq Hotel, and singer/songwriter Michael Grimm, who has a a date next Tuesday at Myron’s Cabaret Jazz at The Smith Center. Ventriloquist Paul Zerdin, a past winner and a contestant in the “Champions” series, starred in a brief production at Planet Hollywood Showroom in 2015.
Vegas also was represented in Monday’s finale by Cirque du Soleil, with a special performance from “Mystere.”
In the “Champion” series, Lim beat out a lineup of past winners and finalists from “AGT” and also the show’s international competitions. The Las Vegas act Deadly Games also reached the finals. Lim was awarded the final championship by a fan vote.
The 27-year-old Lim, whose parents are from Singapore, grew up near Boston in Acton, Mass. He performed his winning trick for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” co-star Melissa Fumero, who made a guest appearance in the finale.
Lim took a photo of Fumero holding the card, using a cellphone Fumero had brought to the stage. He then placed the card to the side and told Fumero to select a card from the deck. She chose the queen of diamonds. Lim pulled that card from the deck, showed it to Fumero, then returned the card to the deck and handed it to Fumero to shuffle.
— Melissa Fumero (@melissafumero) February 19, 2019
Lim performed several tricks, asking Fumero to kiss the queen of hearts and later pulling the card, smeared with red lipstick, from his mouth. He then returned to the cellphone. The photo of what was originally Fumero holding a blank card had turned into a shot of Fumero holding the queen of diamonds. He then returned to the original blank card on the table, turned it over and showed it to be the queen of diamonds.
Judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B. led the studio audience in a standing ovation.
When host Terry Crews announced Lim’s name, the young artist dropped to his knees as Queen’s “We Are The Champions” played to trumpet his victory. Lim, seeming overwhelmed, said, “All I have to say is, follow your dreams. Really, follow your dreams”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.