Murphy, who started the competition as one of 100,000 contestants auditioning for the NBC reality talent show, learned his fate last night on the AGT results show. Murphy and 11-year-old Anna Graceman were brought out as the show finale.
Both Murphy and Graceman have been popular with fans and with the judges throughout the competition, although Graceman was criticized for her singing on the Top 10 show on Tuesday and Murphy was praised by all three judges.
West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, a Logan County native, too, praised the crooner in a statement to The Logan Banner from the State Capitol in Charleston this morning.
"Joanne and I are thrilled for the success of Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr., as he continues his journey on America’s Got Talent," Tomblin said. "We send our best wishes to him and his entire family. It was both exciting and stressful to sit on the edge our seats waiting to hear the results of America’s vote. He has a terrific voice and it is wonderful to see him come into his own with each performance. Whatever the results of the finals next week, Landau should be proud of all that he has accomplished. I know that he has made us all proud and given West Virginia a wonderful reason to stand up and cheer."
Show host Nick Cannon dragged out the drama for nearly a full minute before announcing that Murphy was moving on in the competition.
Murphy, who is known by his nickname "Dooney", appeared solemn following the announcement, while Graceman clapped for Murphy and cried as she said her farewell.
"It's totally a dream come true," Murphy said. "It's hard being up here with this competition and taking it from these kids, man. But, I'm grateful."
Cannon said Murphy had become close friends with all the contestants on AGT.
"Yeah, I'm close friends with all of them," Murphy said. "They all call me Uncle Dooney."
Cannon then said "Well, congratulations, Uncle Dooney!"
Graceman said she appreciated the chance to compete on AGT.
"This experience has been amazing," Graceman said. "I am so lucky to be here. To make it to the Top 10 has been a dream come true to me. I'm so happy for Landau."
Murphy joins Silhouettes, Team ILuminate and Poplyfe in the Top 4, who will all compete next week for the $1 million prize and a show at Caesar's Palace starting in October and hosted by Jerry Springer.
Murphy wowed the crowd on Tuesday night with his rendition of the Dean Martin classic "Ain't That A Kick In The Head" and all three judges raved about his performance.
"Everybody is on their feet," said show host Nick Cannon.
Judge Howie Mandel said he was glad Murphy got away from singing Frank Sinatra songs and chose a Dean Martin classic, instead.
"I'd like to kick America in the head and tell them to vote for you," Mandel said. "You, again, are amazing — not only your singing, but your persona, your story. Just a month ago you were washing cars. The way you are with your family and kids and I saw you with your wife — you're just a great guy and you deserve this."
Judge Piers Morgan also had high praise for Murphy. Morgan was critical of Murphy after last week's performance, but praised him and gave Murphy a standing ovation for his rendition of the Dean Martin standard.
"You got your mojo back, didn't you," Morgan asked Murphy.
"That's right," Murphy replied.
"You were relaxed. You were smiling. You were strutting the stage and you had the swagger," Morgan said. "You also understood that, on the Top 10 night, you wear a tie. I was watching you. We were talking about this earlier: Who would we actually pay to watch? If I could choose any act tonight in Los Angeles to go and part with my money to watch perform for an hour and a half, it would be Landau Eugene Murphy Jr."
Judge Sharon Osbourne said that comment was high praise.
"Believe me, Landau, that's saying a lot from this one, because he's really tight," Osbourne said. "Let me tell you, you are one hell of a class act. You are beautiful, so smart. You know when you are listening to something great. The band, all your band were up there loving it, smiling like we are. What can I say? Vote, vote, vote!"
Fans packed two theaters at the Fountain Place Cinema 8 Tuesday night to watch Murphy on the big screen. Reportedly, a watch party is set for this coming Tuesday night's show, but this time, it will be held at the Logan Memorial Fieldhouse.
Logan Countian Claude Williams was in Miami at a Missionary Baptist Convention when Murphy performed, but he didn't let that stop him from watching his friend sing.
Williams called The Logan Banner office this morning with high praise for Murphy.
"I jumped up and started screaming and hollering last night after it was announced he was moving on," Williams said. "He had some tough competition. That little girl, Anna Graceman, she is very good and has a bright future ahead of her.
"I'm proud of the people of West Virginia for voting for Landau. I want to thank everybody for recognizing his talent."