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America’s Got Talent: Howie Mandel pays tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald during season finale

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America's Got Talent: Howie Mandel pays tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald during season finale

Howie Mandel paid tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald and the power of laughter on Tuesday as the final 10 acts performed on America’s Got Talent.

The 65-year-old judge honored the Saturday Night Live veteran who died Tuesday at age 61 after a private nine-year battle with cancer following the performance of stand-up comic Gina Brillon, 41, during the season 16 finale.

‘I just want to say this because I need to. One of the greats of comedy passed today. Norm Macdonald passed away and it broke my heart. But having you and seeing you and Josh [Blue] on the show today brings us back and lets us know that laughter is still alive and laughter is the best medicine. So thank you for being here, thank you for showing up and thank you for being you,’ said Howie who has been a staunch supporter of Gina and fellow comic Josh Blue this season.

Paying tribute: Howie Mandel paid tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald and the power of laughter on Tuesday as the final 10 acts performed on America's Got Talent

Paying tribute: Howie Mandel paid tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald and the power of laughter on Tuesday as the final 10 acts performed on America's Got Talent

Paying tribute: Howie Mandel paid tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald and the power of laughter on Tuesday as the final 10 acts performed on America’s Got Talent

Heidi Klum, 48, echoed a similar sentiment.

‘I was cracking up and I was thinking the same thing. With so much sadness in the world, it is so nice to sit here and listen to you, laugh, hearing everybody laugh,’ Heidi told Gina.

Franchise creator, executive producer and judge Simon Cowell, 61, said he believed comedy was the ‘hardest thing’ to do on the show even more than some of the variety acts and harder than the singers.

He then asked Gina what it would mean to win the $1 million prize and a show at The Luxor in Las Vegas.

Top comic: Saturday Night Live veteran Norm Macdonald, shown in August 2008 in Burbank, California, died Tuesday at age 61 after a privatenine-year battle with cancer

Top comic: Saturday Night Live veteran Norm Macdonald, shown in August 2008 in Burbank, California, died Tuesday at age 61 after a privatenine-year battle with cancer

Top comic: Saturday Night Live veteran Norm Macdonald, shown in August 2008 in Burbank, California, died Tuesday at age 61 after a privatenine-year battle with cancer

High praise: The judges heaped praise on Gina Brillon after her stand-up comedy routine

High praise: The judges heaped praise on Gina Brillon after her stand-up comedy routine

High praise: The judges heaped praise on Gina Brillon after her stand-up comedy routine

Cracking up: 'I was cracking up and I was thinking the same thing. With so much sadness in the world, it is so nice to sit here and listen to you, laugh, hearing everybody laugh,' Heidi told Gina

Cracking up: 'I was cracking up and I was thinking the same thing. With so much sadness in the world, it is so nice to sit here and listen to you, laugh, hearing everybody laugh,' Heidi told Gina

Cracking up: ‘I was cracking up and I was thinking the same thing. With so much sadness in the world, it is so nice to sit here and listen to you, laugh, hearing everybody laugh,’ Heidi told Gina

‘Winning means to me making history. That’s what winning means. It means a win for comics, for Latinas, for moms, and for everybody that has a dream bigger than they can imagine,’ she answered.

The first act to take the stage was singer Jimmie Herrod, 30, who was the Golden Buzzer pick of judge Sofia Vergara, 49.

Before his performance, Jimmie said after being saved by the audience vote at the last minute at the semifinals that he knew he had to put everything on the line at the finale.

Good question: Simon Cowell asked Gina what it would mean to win the $1 million prize and a show at The Luxor in Las Vegas

Good question: Simon Cowell asked Gina what it would mean to win the $1 million prize and a show at The Luxor in Las Vegas

Good question: Simon Cowell asked Gina what it would mean to win the $1 million prize and a show at The Luxor in Las Vegas

He sang a cover of ‘What A Wonderful World.’

Sofia told him she was blown away by his performance and Howie told Jimmie that he could take any classic song and make it his own ‘because you are a classic.’

‘I’ve never heard a voice more pure,’ said Howie, who also told Jimmie that his performance made the AGT finals and this room ‘a wonderful world.’

Blown away: Sofia Vergara told her Golden Buzzer pick Jimmie that she was blown away by his performance

Blown away: Sofia Vergara told her Golden Buzzer pick Jimmie that she was blown away by his performance

Blown away: Sofia Vergara told her Golden Buzzer pick Jimmie that she was blown away by his performance

Heidi also said she believed that Jimmie’s performance was worthy of winning the grand prize. Simon told Jimmie that maybe being on the edge the previous show was incentive for him to push through because he thought he ‘got his fire back.’

Next, quick-change artist Léa Kyle took the stage. She stunned the judges with her instant outfit changes that came seemingly out of nowhere. Heidi told her that this performance was her best ever and Sofia agreed.

Simon had one criticism that it was too quick. Then, he told her he thought she was the best quick-change artist in the world.

The best: Quick-change artist Léa Kyle stunned the judges with her instant outfit changes that came seemingly out of nowhere and was praised as the best quick-change artist on the planet

The best: Quick-change artist Léa Kyle stunned the judges with her instant outfit changes that came seemingly out of nowhere and was praised as the best quick-change artist on the planet

The best: Quick-change artist Léa Kyle stunned the judges with her instant outfit changes that came seemingly out of nowhere and was praised as the best quick-change artist on the planet

Show host Terry Crews, 53, pointed out to Simon that they had seen two golden buzzers but one was missing. Simon said that he knew that singer Nightbirde was sadly missing. He told Terry, though, that he had recently spoken to her and that she was doing well. Simon said he told her that they all loved her and just wanted her to get better.

Then nine-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker came out and sang ‘O Mio Babbino Caro.’ All the judges gave her a standing ovation.

‘I think tonight you were in a different league,’ Simon said. ‘You have this glow about you tonight.’ He told her she was an ‘absolute star’ and that he thought she could win the show.

One missing: Show host Terry Crews, 53, pointed out to Simon that they had seen two golden buzzers but one was missing and Simon then gave an update on Nightbirde who pulled out of the competition to focus on her battle with cancer

One missing: Show host Terry Crews, 53, pointed out to Simon that they had seen two golden buzzers but one was missing and Simon then gave an update on Nightbirde who pulled out of the competition to focus on her battle with cancer

One missing: Show host Terry Crews, 53, pointed out to Simon that they had seen two golden buzzers but one was missing and Simon then gave an update on Nightbirde who pulled out of the competition to focus on her battle with cancer

Young singer: Nine-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker came out and sang 'O Mio Babbino Caro'

Young singer: Nine-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker came out and sang 'O Mio Babbino Caro'

Young singer: Nine-year-old opera singer Victory Brinker came out and sang ‘O Mio Babbino Caro’

Sofia also told her she thought she could win. Howie said that she found her passion and that she had already made it and was a star. Heidi told her it was ‘perfection.’

Gina, 41, from the Bronx, performed next. She said her parents had taught her not to ‘throw in the towel’ and to not give up. She was excited about the possibility that she could be the first comedian to win AGT and entertained with stories about her marriage and about dating.

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Heidi, who laughed throughout her performance, said she was already a winner. Sofia told her she loved that she was so comfortable on stage.

Funny lady: Gina entertained with stories about her marriage and about dating

Funny lady: Gina entertained with stories about her marriage and about dating

Funny lady: Gina entertained with stories about her marriage and about dating

The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team took the stage next. Their synchronized martial art performance included jumping and spinning in perfect unison. They did back flips and kicks smashing apart blocks of wood. The stage was covered after their performance in shredded and broken bits of wood.

‘This is the best act of the night,’ Howie told them. ‘I can watch a two hour show just off this.’

Heidi told them their act was so exciting. Simon said he was getting a bit bored but then ‘tonight that was bloody brilliant.’ Simon also said he also thought they were the best act of the night and the act to beat.

Flying kicks: The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team unleashed a synchronized martial art performance included jumping and spinning in perfect unison

Flying kicks: The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team unleashed a synchronized martial art performance included jumping and spinning in perfect unison

Flying kicks: The World Taekwondo Demonstration Team unleashed a synchronized martial art performance included jumping and spinning in perfect unison

Aidan Bryant, 16, a self-taught aerialist from Prince George County, Virginia, took the stage next and hung and twirled from the highest heights.

Simon was so impressed by what he had seen that after Aidan’s performance he climbed on top of his desk to give him a round of applause. The audience also went crazy with applause.

‘I did that because I don’t think that a standing ovation was big enough for what that was,’ Simon told him. ‘You are unbelievably talented.’

Self-taught teen: Aidan Bryant, 16, a self-taught aerialist from Prince George County, Virginia, took the stage next and hung and twirled from the highest heights

Self-taught teen: Aidan Bryant, 16, a self-taught aerialist from Prince George County, Virginia, took the stage next and hung and twirled from the highest heights

Self-taught teen: Aidan Bryant, 16, a self-taught aerialist from Prince George County, Virginia, took the stage next and hung and twirled from the highest heights

Simon told him it was one of the best live performances that he had ever seen. Heidi said she was so proud of him. Sofia told him he was a sensation and the world was loving him. Howie told him that he personally liked his last routine better.

Singer Brooke Simpson, 30, from North Carolina, sang a cover of ‘White Flag’ by Bishop Briggs. By the time she finished, Sofia was on her feet and told her she was the perfect example of someone coming to the finals and raising their game. Simon told her that every time she came on the stage he saw that she gave everything to her performance.

Howie told her ‘you are on fire’ and that America was going to love her. Heidi also told her she was ‘amazing.’

Killed it: Brooke Simpson, 30, from North Carolina, sang a cover of 'White Flag' by Bishop Briggs and the judges gushed about her performance

Killed it: Brooke Simpson, 30, from North Carolina, sang a cover of 'White Flag' by Bishop Briggs and the judges gushed about her performance

Killed it: Brooke Simpson, 30, from North Carolina, sang a cover of ‘White Flag’ by Bishop Briggs and the judges gushed about her performance

Brooke thanked the judges and told them she was inspired by her Native American tribe and wanted them to know that nothing was impossible.

Next, magician Dustin Tavella, 35, from Stowe, Pennsylvania, took the stage and shared a story about the importance of giving back to others. He had all the audience write down a message of how they would spread kindness and help another person.

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He had them crumple up the notes and then throw them at the judges. Dustin then asked each of the judges to pick up a note. He asked Terry to select one of the notes and then he revealed that the note Terry selected matched a note that was inside a balloon. Simon told him he loved everything about his act and believed he would be one of the final two.

Giving back: Dustin Tavella, 35, from Stowe, Pennsylvania, took the stage and shared a story about the importance of giving back to others

Giving back: Dustin Tavella, 35, from Stowe, Pennsylvania, took the stage and shared a story about the importance of giving back to others

Giving back: Dustin Tavella, 35, from Stowe, Pennsylvania, took the stage and shared a story about the importance of giving back to others

Howie told him that what he does makes ‘the impossible possible.’

Denver comedian Josh, 42, who has cerebral palsy, said that even though the constant touring performances were painful for him that he wouldn’t give up. He said to see his face on a billboard in Las Vegas would be amazing.

Josh made fun of his condition and his twitching and constantly moving arm. He then joked about how botox was originally intended to help people with cerebral palsy but then they discovered it would get rid of wrinkles. He said when he told these botox jokes that he heard this weird vibe in the room and that was all the people with botox trying to frown.

Fan favorite: Denver comedian Josh, 42, who has cerebral palsy, said that even though the constant touring performances were painful for him that he wouldn't give up

Fan favorite: Denver comedian Josh, 42, who has cerebral palsy, said that even though the constant touring performances were painful for him that he wouldn't give up

Fan favorite: Denver comedian Josh, 42, who has cerebral palsy, said that even though the constant touring performances were painful for him that he wouldn’t give up

‘Right, Simon?’ Josh said. Simon laughed and Josh said ‘thank you that’s the end of my career.’

The last act of the night was Howie’s Golden Buzzer pick Northwell Health Nurse Choir who took the stage wearing red scrubs and sang a cover of ‘Stand By You.’ Before they came out, one of the nurses said that being in the finals was a dream that they didn’t even know that they could have.

Sofia told them they were an inspiration and that she was so glad they made it to the final. Heidi told them that they were not only real heroes but they were really talented. Simon told them that this was a night he would never forget.

Last act: The last act of the night was Howie's Golden Buzzer pick Northwell Health Nurse Choir who took the stage wearing red scrubs and sang a cover of 'Stand By You'

Last act: The last act of the night was Howie's Golden Buzzer pick Northwell Health Nurse Choir who took the stage wearing red scrubs and sang a cover of 'Stand By You'

Last act: The last act of the night was Howie’s Golden Buzzer pick Northwell Health Nurse Choir who took the stage wearing red scrubs and sang a cover of ‘Stand By You’

‘I’m going to stand by you,’ Howie said. 

‘I’m going to say that you probably will win this. I think that America feels the same way. You are the lifeblood of what America’s Got Talent is about. People with hopes and dreams, who are good human beings who deserve to win and that’s you,’ he added.

The season 16 winner of America’s Got Talent will be revealed Wednesday during a star-studded results show finale.

Standing by; 'I'm going to stand by you,' Howie told the choir composed of nurses

Standing by; 'I'm going to stand by you,' Howie told the choir composed of nurses

Standing by; ‘I’m going to stand by you,’ Howie told the choir composed of nurses

America's Got Talent: Howie Mandel pays tribute to late comedian Norm Macdonald during season finaleSource

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