Warning: This story contains spoilers.
The prognosis proved disappointing for the Northwell Health Nurse Choir Wednesday night on the season-16 finale of "America's Got Talent," as the troupe ended its journey in the bottom half of the top 10 finalists. Magician Dustin Tavella took the $1-million grand prize.
"Northwell Health Nurse Choir, we are so grateful you came on this show!" effused host Terry Crews at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. "You just made everything better. We will never forget you!"
The choir of mostly Long Island health care workers ended its journey alongside Bronx stand-up comic Gina Brillon, singer Jimmie Herrod, the World Taekwondo Demonstration Team and child opera singer Victory Brinker. Quick-change artist Léa Kyle came in fifth, singer Brooke Simpson fourth and comedian Josh Blue in third. Teen aerialist Aidan Bryant was the runner-up.
The 18-member choir had been one of the first acts to perform on the two-hour finale of the NBC talent competition, joining singer and fellow finalist Herrod and guest Idina Menzel, the Syosset-raised Tony Award winner, on "Defying Gravity," the Act 1 closer from her Broadway hit "Wicked." Menzel soon returned for a solo performance, with backing band, of "Dream Girl" from her current Amazon Prime Video movie "Cinderella."
Gathered from 10 mostly Long Island hospitals in Northwell Health's 23-hospital system, the choir had started its "AGT" journey on the season premiere, with a medley of "Lean on Me" and "Stand by Me," earning a Golden Buzzer direct to the live quarterfinals from judge Howie Mandel. On those quarterfinals, on Aug. 17, they earned praise for their performance of "You Will Be Found" from Broadway's "Dear Evan Hansen."
On the Sept. 7 semifinals, the choir wowed the judges with its rendition of Andy Grammer's "Don't Give Up on Me," and became one of the season's 10 finalists. Then Tuesday, the choir's joyful rendition of Rachel Platten's "Stand By You" prompted the panel of four judges to again praise the nurses troupe both for their musical talent and for their everyday labors on the front lines of health care.