AGT: bad news, not a real $1 million, good news, who won

America’s Got Talent had their final tonight and picked a winner. My wife was watching closely at the fine print/disclaimer. The winner is promised $1 million and headlining a show in Las Vegas. The show turns out to be two performances of a variety show, and the million is paid out over forty years. That show makes real money. Why do that? That works out to $25 thousand a year

Before taxes.

You can take a lump sum, which after taxes means the artist gets $150,000 – $200,000. Not anyone’s idea of a million bucks. This sounds for all the world like a typical rock’n’roll record deal. How those deals work is the artists make their money with live performance. And that’s kind of how this works. The exposure is serious.

There were some very good people in this competition. The winner was chosen by the public, not judges. His name is Brandon Leake. He’s 27 years old, or at least was when he auditioned. His format is Spoken Word, a sort of cross between poetry and a monologue. The one he gave in the quarter finals was amazing. See for yourself:

I wish he was about a to be a millionaire. He isn’t.

But now millions of people know who he is. Not what you’d expect from a show like this. Particularly his win. Sometimes the public surprises me. After all, they chose him. The judges don’t choose the finalists, nor do they choose the winner. It’s done by public vote.