[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from the America's Got Talent finale. Read at your own risk.]
On America's Got Talent, the final four vied for $1 million on the Season 5 finale: 10-year-old opera-singing prodigy Jackie Evancho, black-light illusion dance group Fighting Gravity, soulful singer/musician Michael Grimm and baroque dandy opera singer Prince Poppycock.
Each contestant performed "with one of their heroes," as host Nick Cannon put it.
The night kicked off with Poppycock, looking like an Elizabethan acid trip, as usual. He performed "Last Dance" with disco queen Donna Summer, and it was an oddly lifeless rendition of the 1978 hit.
Grimm solidly and stolidly performed the 1971 ballad "Me and Bobby McGee" in tandem with Jewel.
Fighting Gravity teamed up with Lionel Richie — looking, at 61, like he's barely aged since he led the 1970s group the Commodores — to offer a rousing version of his 1986 smash "Dancing on the Ceiling," so the group could — yeah, you guessed it — dance on the ceiling.
Little Jackie, sounding like a mini-Renee Fleming, got together with Sarah Brightman for "Time to Say Goodbye," or "Con te partiro," the Italian classical crossover song famously done by Andrea Bocelli.
It was standing-O time.
"It was amazing because I've been dreaming of this day all my life," Jackie said after performing with the original Broadway star of The Phantom of the Opera. "It's just amazing to be here with her."
"I think her life is going to be very, very special," Brightman said.
The field was winnowed with the first elimination. Poppycock, you say? You say correctly. Then, unable to defy the gravity of judgment: Fighting Gravity. Jackie landed in the first runner-up position.
In the end, Grimm was crowned the winner, as the inevitable confetti fell and a standing ovation came his way from the audience and judges Piers Morgan (who's succeeding Larry King on CNN in January), Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel.
After his win, Grimm hugged Jackie, then wondered aloud: "Is this real?"