More than 12 million people tuned in last Wednesday to see Mat Franco take home the $1 million grand prize on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. But what everyone was buzzing about after the show was not the talented magician, but host Nick Cannon’s diamond-encrusted shoes.
Valued at $2 million and dripping with 14,000 full-cut diamonds set in white gold, the slip-ons were ordered by Cannon nearly a year ago to deliver a “wow factor” to the season 9 finale.
The Guinness Book of World Records is currently evaluating Cannon’s footwear for the title of the Most Valuable Pair of Shoes in the World.
Beverly Hills jeweler Jason Arasheben told Matt Lauer of the Today Show that the shoes took 2,000 man-hours to create and feature 340 carats in diamonds. Lauer, who had the privilege of modeling the diamond loafers during the Thursday morning broadcast, joked that his calves were getting a workout. “They are heavy,” he said.
In an interview with WWD, Arasheben said, “Not very often do I get a request for the most expensive shoes in the world. When Nick approached me last year, he said he wanted to make history and be so over-the-top. He wanted to set a new standard in diamonds.”
Arasheben also revealed that his team experimented with various shoe brands until they found just the right match for this project — a flexible pair of patent leather Tom Fords. “We didn’t want [Cannon] looking like Frankenstein when he walked,” the jeweler said.
It is rumored that Cannon is going to take the shoes on tour and then donate them to charity. The talented 33-year-old singer/actor/comedian and husband of diva Mariah Carey solicited recommendations of potential charities on his Twitter page.
Franco became the first magician to win the America’s Got Talent competition. In addition to his seven-figure cash prize, he will also get to headline a show in Las Vegas.