We introduced our readers to the “dance-ish” performer Kenichi Ebina when he first appeared on the popular NBC performance program America’s Got Talent earlier this year and summarized The Matrix in a 90-second dance routine. We knew then that he was something special, but little did we know he would go on to take the top prize, becoming not only the first Japanese but also the first dancer to do so.
About 75,000 people audition for a place on the show, and when he first appeared, the judges didn’t seem that impressed. By the time he finished performing his Matrix piece, though, the judges and audience alike were on their feet, cheering. The video was posted on YouTube and viewed over 16 million times!
Ebina went on to wow audiences this season with a video-game-like virtual reality performance, a face-off with himself, and other mind-bending concepts. Finally, it was down to Ebina and comedian Taylor Williamson, but a final performance that would have done Michael Jackson proud scored him the top spot, 1 million US dollars, and a headline Vegas show, not to mention some serious bragging rights.
On a Japanese TV program following his win, Ebina said, “I was so happy. I’ve appeared in several competitions, but this one was a whole other league. I was shocked to win.” He also said he wanted to bring together some of the other amazing performers in Japan for his show and expressed a desire to participate in the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics.
Now there’s something we can all look forward to!
Check out the video below to see all of his AGT performances.