Baltimore native Mike E. Winfield wowed the audience and judges alike in his third and final performance on “America’s Got Talent,” but on Wednesday night the comic was the first act to leave the competition, bringing his journey on the NBC’s hit TV show to an end.
Winfield, who was competing to win the $1 million grand prize and the chance to join the show’s live Las Vegas revue, did not garner enough viewer votes to make it into the top five finalists.
A comedian has never won the grand prize in the show’s 17 seasons according to an “America’s Got Talent” spokesperson. Mayyas, a dance troupe from Lebanon, was this year’s winner.
“You’re so laser-focused, you’re so sharp, you’re so on it. This was magic. You really just now, I believe, have given yourself the shot winning the show,” said notoriously critical judge and executive producer Simon Cowell after Winfield’s performance on Tuesday night’s finale.
Longtime show judge and comedian Howie Mandel, has been a fan of Winfield since his first audition. In the semi-finals on Aug. 30, Mandel offered Winfield an opportunity to open up for him at one of his shows if he didn’t move on to the finals. Though Winfield made it to the finals, Mandel‘s collaboration offer still stands.
”You’ve come out here like a superstar. I tell you, your life has already changed. The only direction is up,” Mandel said. “I hope you win, I want you to win. I want people to vote for you. And I still want you to work with me, please?”
In a recent interview with The Sun, Winfield said there’s something about Charm City that sets him apart from other contestants.
“I feel like Baltimore is one of those places that shape you in a way that hasn’t been seen so much in stand up comedy on television,” he said.
Baltimore comedians gaining national attention have included Oscar-winning actress and “Queen of Comedy,” Mo’Nique, Jess Hilarious of VH1′s “Wild ‘N Out”, Ego Nwodim of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” and podcaster Stavros Halkias.
Winfield’s comedy takes topics such as marriage and fatherhood and presents them in such a captivating and relatable way that even actress and judge Sofia Vergara asked to be his friend.
“Mike, you feel and you look like a star. You’re amazing and relatable, I feel like I want to hang out with you. You want to be my friend,” she said.
While Winfield acknowledged that the money and chance to appear in Las Vegas show would be “life-changing,” he is thankful for the recognition he’s receiving from just participating in the competition.
”Exposure is everything,” Winfield said. “These television appearances could open the door for roles in movies and my ultimate dream, The Mike E. Winfield Show!“
With more opportunities, the comic said he hopes to eventually achieve his goal of creating a comedy special on his own terms.
”I could record it, finally where I want to record it, which could be in Baltimore City,” he said.
Model and judge Heidi Klum sees a sitcom in Winfield‘s future.
“The story about your family alone is almost like a sitcom. You were saying something is next, so maybe that is next,” Klum said.