Longtime fans of “America's Got Talent” are well aware that the season finale is about far more than revealing the final tally of the vote. It is a night to celebrate the transformed lives of each of the final contenders and give each one a taste of the professional encounters that await them. Regardless of the numbers, the “America's Got Talent” stage gives exposure that most artists can never imagine, allowing some to show gifts, once contained only within bedroom walls, to the world. While one purpose of the superstar collaborations with contenders is to fill the moments before the ultimate vote is revealed, another is to convey that these hopeful talents will share stages with many top-tier performers from now on.

The band who loves to rock 'n roll all night, KISS, opened the memorable night and introduced Tyra Banks in her sheer, glimmering white dress before plugging their End of the Road Farewell Tour. Simon Cowell was so captivated by the performances of the finals that he attested that it was the best finals in “America's Got Talent” history. At one point, the British judge gushed that he couldn't believe he was being paid to do his job, being so carried away by the talents. The judges exhibited the same tension as the voting fans down to the final 45 minutes of the night, and the last decisive vote was a surprise even to the man who won it, as the master of vanishing cards, Shin Lim, was hoisted high in a shower of glitter.

Dream teams

The expected frivolity with each of the judges was fully indulged. Mel B lived out her dream of being a standup comedian, complete with costume, and getting coaching from Howie Mandel and Samuel J Comroe. Despite the expertise, she still wasn't able to stop Simon from giving her an X.

More soothing tones came from Bebe Rexha singing her own song, “I'm a Mess,” before joining with Glennis Grace on “Meant to Be.” Truthfully, Grace could have taken on the song beautifully all on her own, but the collaboration was a vision of a brighter future for the single mom.

Striking a much different chord, the schoolgirl turned rock mistress, Courtney Hadwin, definitely proved that she doesn't just have the voice to sing rock, she has the attitude to leave the rock band, singing Janis Joplin's “Piece of My Heart” with The Struts. Courtney needs to live out her own dream and cultivate her own identity as an artist before taking on any band gig.

The future is hers.

Daniel Emmet drew perhaps the most stellar collaborative partner of all, singing “Pearl Fishers” with the legendary Placido Domingo. The veteran of opera around the world lavished praise upon Emmet, saying that opera’s future was in worthy hands, and strong voice, with talents like Daniel Emmet. The young singer should definitely do this part in drawing a new audience to the genre.

One of the most moving segments of the evening involved country superstar, Garth Brooks, as he described how his world had been “turned upside down” after Simon Cowell’s request that Brooks create a song for Michael Ketterer. Garth Brooks not only graciously obliged, but developed a long-distance connection with the adoptive dad and his family.

“America's Got Talent” fans and viewers were treated to the first performance of “The Courage To Love,” and the song seemed perfectly tailored as a personal anthem to the singer. Simon Cowell already had thanked Garth Brooks by e-mail, but he again expressed his great appreciation for the song that he hopes “will change his life,” for his golden buzzer singer.

Star violinist Lindsey Stirling and Brian King Joseph had the audience more than tapping their toes with their rapturous duet of spirits and strings. Aerial artists, Duo Transcend, added drama from the air, as the musicians seemed divinely paired. The two gave a sense of equals at work in their craft, and it will be a treat to see Joseph taking stages all over the world, and spreading his buoyant spirit for years yet to come.

Shin Lim defied even the hosts of the fearless competition, “American Ninja Warrior” with his mind-bending, card transporting magic. Aerial dance troupe, Zucaroh, made its members into human spindles for a final performance, and then it was time for ten contenders to become five as the first votes were revealed.

The cuts come

Zucaroh and Duo Transcend were the first pairing in the verdicts, and Zucaroh became the first act in the top five.

Brian King Joseph and Glennis Grace were up for the next close vote, and Brian King Joseph was both delighted and surprised to make this cut.

Daniel Emmet and Shin Lim stood for the next news, and it was Shin Lim who survived. Emmet expressed full gratitude for his “America's Got Talent” experience and his fans.

Comedians Vicki Barbolak and Samuel J Comroe would have probably preferred not to be competing together for the next vote when Comroe was called as the next finalist. Staying funny to her AGT farewell, Vicki didn't just want to keep her wardrobe-- she asked for the golf cart.

Michael Ketterer and Courtney Hadwin stood for the vote tally, and Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell both bowed their heads, unable to even look at their golden buzzer choices at the moment. Michael Ketterer was the named finalist, expressing nothing but gratitude and love to see his dream unfolding. His stay would not be long, because, in just minutes, he was announced as the fifth-place finalist, meaning he had to depart. Still, there was no sadness seen from this loving dad, despite some sounds of disappointment from the crowd.

The singer will be onstage with Garth Brooks next month at Notre Dame.

Samuel J Comroe was the next to leave the stage, and he specifically told everyone there was no reason to be sad, as Howie Mandel sent him off with love on a transformed career.

Brian King Joseph was a cheerleader to his fans and all of America, insisting that they “appreciate all we've done.” This musician is sure to find new stages all over the world, and hopefully, extended health for a long while to come.

The last vote and the million-dollar prize came down to Zucaroh and Shin Lim, whose ever-steady hands covered his face. The magician was named the “America's Got Talent” Season 13 winner, and in a true spirit of camaraderie, he was instantly lifted onto the shoulders of the dancers in Zucaroh, under a shower of gold.

The night ended in surprise, but as always, with delight.