British ventriloquist wins America’s Got Talent | Ventriloquism


He began his career in the pubs and working class clubs of the North of England, jostling with bingo and karaoke to get any stage time. But now British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin has become international stardom after winning America’s Got Talent with his puppet trio.

The 43-year-old, from Wimbledon, south London, said he was still reeling from winning the talent show, which attracts millions of spectators and comes with a £1million prize dollars (£640,000).

“It’s a bit surreal, really,” he said. “As for the last two, I was all set to compliment comedian Drew, who I was up against, so when they said my name, my heart skipped a beat and I was filled with a mix of exhaustion, jet lag and euphoria.. I’m overwhelmed by it all.

Zerdin has been practicing ventriloquism for over 25 years. As a child, at age eight, he was given a box of magic tricks and then, after leaving school with no exams under his belt, he became a professional magician. To develop an act that would set him apart, he undertook to learn to master ventriloquism.

Part of the prize for winning Britain’s Got Talent is an appearance on the Royal Variety Performance. But, having already performed on the show three times since 1997, Zerdin said he decided that America’s Got Talent would be more of a challenge and would also allow him to audition “and then go home and nobody would be any more.” advised”.

However, after his first audition was a resounding success to a standing ovation from the judges and audience, Zerdin’s appearance on America’s Got Talent returned to the UK via social media.

“It spurred me on and made me think I could go pretty far with this,” Zerdin said. “Although I never imagined that I would make it to the final or even win it.”

He said his time working on cruise ships has also given him the confidence to know he can make UK and US audiences laugh, and cites both The Muppets and Sesame Street as a huge influence on his show .

He had a week to develop his final before playing it on Tuesday night. The show featured its three characters – Sam, Grandpa Albert and Baby – and Zerdin said it was difficult to do everything he could do in just two minutes. By introducing three different voices and animatronics into his performance, he had “tried to introduce something different to ventriloquism and to play with the art form a bit, to push it forward”.

After his performance, Howard Stern, one of the judges, said, “There’s a reason Paul has come out on top every time he’s come on, because he’s a master at what he does. fact… He takes the art of ventriloquism to new heights. Former Spice Girl Mel B, another of the judges, agreed, calling it “perfect”.

As the winner of America’s Got Talent, Zerdin now has the opportunity to headline his own show at the Planet Hollywood Hotel in Las Vegas next month. He said he had already written material for previous tours around the UK.

The key to successful ventriloquism, he suggested, was simply to amuse the audience. “The most important thing is you have to be funny, you have to be entertaining. You may technically be the greatest ventriloquist in the world, but if you’re not funny, you’re just some guy standing on stage with or without a doll talking to yourself.

Zerdin is the second ventriloquist to win America’s Got Talent. Terry Fator, a Texan, who won in 2007, then had his own Las Vegas residency at the Mirage Hotel, worth $100 million over five years.


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