Simon Cowell admits he’s ‘gutted’ Michael Ketterer didn’t win ‘America's Got Talent’

Rachel McRady‍

Simon Cowell was just as shocked by Wednesday’s season finale of America’s Got Talent as the rest of us!

ET’s Denny Directo caught up with the judge after the show where he gave his candid thoughts on contestant Michael Ketterer’s elimination and winner Shin Lim.

"That moment when Courtney [Hadwin] and Michael [Ketterer] came out, I was like, ‘What?! Not one of you is in the Top 5?’” he tells ET. "I couldn’t believe it."

Cowell admits he was rooting for Ketterer to win the show, saying: "I was gutted because I really like him, but I said to someone earlier on, when One Direction was in one of our shows, they didn’t win. And I had the same feeling of, ‘Oh god,' and they went on to do well.”

Cowell is also surprised by the audience’s reaction when Ketterer was eliminated, as they were heard audibly booing.

"That doesn’t happen. Usually, it’s like, who cares? This time no,” he says.

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Despite his disappointment, Cowell is happy for this year’s winner, magician, Shin Lim.

"Shin, I have to tell you, last night was the best he has been,” he says. "I mean, his performance was magical — literally! — and he’s a nice guy, but of course, my heart was with Michael."

Regardless of the show’s outcome, Cowell has high hopes for all of the finalists.

"Look, whatever happens with the Top 10 is an experience in which more people will benefit from it,” he says. "You get into this many people. You get known all over the world. It was a great night.”