‘America’s Got Talent’ made history, crowning it’s first-ever magician, Mat Franco, on the Season 9 finale, and HollywoodLife.com caught up with the champion just moments after his winning moment!
Magician Mat Franco pulled all the right tricks to win America’s Got Talent Season 9 on Sept. 17 at Radio City Music Hall, and he was glowing with joy, backstage after he won, telling HollywoodLife.com the exact advice the judges gave him for his big future. Plus how did Heidi Klum help him win the competition?
‘America’s Got Talent’: How Heidi Klum Helped Mat Franco Win
Mat Franco won America’s Got Talent, officially gaining the title, after a hilarious skit with surprise guest Rosie O’Donnell and Howard Stern, which featured magic cards going down Howard’s pants, but even though Mat played tricks on the judge, he’s actually been behind him all along.
“In the Top 48, the quarterfinals of the competition, Howard said, ‘It’s time to really let a magician get to the finals and my prediction is you,’ Mat recalled to HollywoodLife.com on the AGT red carpet at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, after his big win.
Heidi Klum was also singing stars and stripes for the first-ever magician to win the show, and Mat admits that her support really helped him win the title.
“During the season, Heidi at one point said, ‘You’re my favorite magic act.’ This was in the Top 12 — there were three magic acts, at that point, and I think that really helped push me through that she acknowledged that I was her favorite magic act,” Mat told us exclusively. “That meant a lot to me. It really did.”
Mat Franco Wins ‘AGT’ For His Charisma
Heidi and Howard weren’t the only judges who praised Mat. The magician tells HollywoodLife.com exclusively the exact compliment that Mel B gave him.
“Tonight, Howie [Mandel] and Mel both talked about charisma,” he says. “They talked about the tricks, but there’s a lot of times where Mel B will say things like, ‘Forget the tricks, it’s you.’ To hear somebody say that, it’s great because magic isn’t about the tricks — it’s about the performance and it’s about the entertainment.”
Now that he’s won, Mat truly just wants to entertain audiences with that very charisma.
“I don’t care about fooling people. I want people to smile,” he tells us. “If you’re not having a good time, I’m not having a good time. If you sit there and think it’s a puzzle that you can’t figure out, well then, I’m presenting it the wrong way. I want people to have fun.”
Mat Franco Reveals The Advice Howie Mandel Gave Him After Winning
The young, smiley magician certainly knows that he wants to perform, but he’s not sure what will be planned out for his show during his Las Vegas residency, which was his grand prize, along with $1 million.
“That is a great question,” Mat said with a laugh, when we asked what to expect in his Sin City show. “I didn’t expect to win this thing so now that I have been named the winner of America’s Got Talent, the first thing I said to Howie on stage was, ‘I had a life. I had a plan. What do I do with my life now?’ And his advice now was just have fun, and don’t take it too seriously and just enjoy it, have fun, do exactly what you do and keep that attitude. And I’m going to take that advice.”
We think that with Mat’s great personality and knack for entertaining, he’ll be super successful in Las Vegas. Best of luck, Mat!
HollywoodLifers, are you glad that Mat won America’s Got Talent or were you shocked that he took the title? Let us know!
— Elizabeth Wagmeister