Paul Zerdin, America’s Got Talent Finale Winner, Did Not Expect Big Win

September 18, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Paul Zerdin, a British ventriloquist, was the big winner of America’s Got Talent, and he took home the grand prize of $1 million. Mr. Zerdin, a lifelong fan of Jim Henson, who has several puppets, has conducted few interviews where he thanked the American audience for the opportunity and explained that he is eager to start performing for his fans.

Paul Zerdin

America’s Got Talent has a new champion, and it is Paul Zerdin. Mr. Zerdin, who is a 43-year-old ventriloquist from England, received $1 million from the talent show and is beyond thrilled and surprised by the win. The talented comedian has conducted several interviews since his big win where he confessed that he never expected what is happening to him because he is European and because ventriloquists do not really become big stars.

However, Zerdin did become a superstar thanks to his unique methods, his witty yet realistic jokes and mainly due to the original characters he created. While on the hit series, Zerdin brought out four wild puppets, which included Sam, a feisty blonde woman who hates his master. He also brought a baby, inspired by his nephew, who is afraid of fairy tales because they have scary characters and therefore always asks that they be replaced by fluffy ducks and loves to pee on Zerdin.

The audience also met Alasdair Rimmer, a woman who can not stand reality television and, therefore, does not support Donald Trump‘s candidacy. Moreover, last but not least, Albert, inspired by his father, a very old man, who likes gangster rap. However, Zerdin stole the show and won the audience over by turning AGT judge Howie Mandel into a hilarious puppet.

Talking to PEOPLE, Zerdin confessed that he has been obsessed with dolls and playing pretend since he was a child. As a young boy, he used to dress up like Margaret Thatcher to entertain his family. He explained:

“I used to always like dressing up. I remember dressing up in my mum’s [clothes] and her shoes and pretending I was Margaret Thatcher for some reason. I have no idea why. There is a photograph somewhere.”

Believe it or not, he also used to dress up like a milkman and go around his neighborhood pretending to collect money every week. It is not known if he fooled some of his neighbors into giving him a couple of pounds. The British man credited master puppeteer and American icon Jim Henson for awakening his interest in puppets, but he eventually moved “to some semi-professional” ventriloquist dolls. He shared

“I didn’t really know what I was doing. I look back now, [and] I wish I had footage of the action. I’m sure it was appalling, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

Zerdin, who will be performing at the Planet Hollywood next month, said he is grateful that America has given him this great opportunity and added:

“I guess it is like the performer’s ultimate dream to be able to headline your own show in Las Vegas, and I’m so lucky and I’m so grateful to the American people for giving me this chance.”

Zerdin is hoping that Mandel will join him on stage in Vegas.

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