Lebanese dance crew Mayyas make hypnotic 'America's Got Talent' semi-final return

Judge Simon Cowell said the performance was 'as good as it gets'

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Mayyas have made a dazzling return to the America's Got Talent stage.

The Lebanese dance company, who received a golden buzzer from Modern Family actress and judge Sofia Vergara, put on a sensational show in the semi-final. Their hypnotic dance performance received cheers from the live audience on Tuesday night's show.

Performing a serpentine-esque routine, the crew wore gold body suits and masks, while the lead dancer wore bedlah-style attire, with a gold skirt and green long-sleeved top. Like their previous performance on the US talent show, they danced to a selection of Arabic melodies.

Watch Mayyas's full 'America's Got Talent' semi-final performance here

Halfway though the performance, the lead dancer broke away and made the figure of a snake with her hands, puppetting a message in Arabic, which translates as: "His soul and my soul, my soul and his soul, saw two souls existing in one body.”

They received a standing ovation from all four judges — Vergara, Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel. Vergara attempted to climb on to the desk to get over to the group, before joining host Terry Crews on stage.

"Every single one of us in this room, I promise you, are going to remember this moment," Cowell said of the performance.

"This is not just going to change your lives, and this is going to sound very dramatic, this is a performance that changes the world. It was as good as it gets ... respect."

The group had strong support in the crowd, with people holding "vote for Mayyas" signs and waving Lebanese flags.

In June, the Beirut troupe of performers were fast-tracked to the live shows when Vergara hit the golden buzzer, telling them: "It was the most beautiful, creative dancing I've ever seen."

After the initial round, the group returned to Lebanon with their founder and choreographer Nadim Cherfan, who told The National that they had been putting in the rehearsal hours.

"Every day we're in the studio from afternoon 'til after midnight. We only leave when the power goes off," he said.

The finals will be shown on September 13 and 14.

This is not the first talent show experience for Mayyas. The group won season six of Arabs Got Talent in 2019 and participated in Britain's Got Talent: The Champions the same year. Their Arabs Got Talent win came with a new car and 200,000 Saudi riyals ($53,333).

The prize for winning America's Got Talent is $1 million.

Watch Mayyas' full 'America's Got Talent' audition here

Last month, the For You Lebanon campaign was launched to support Mayyas on America's Got Talent.

The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International launched Kermalak Ya Lebnen — For You Lebanon, a campaign from America aimed at Lebanese and Arab citizens living in the US who are eligible to vote for acts performing on the show.

With this, the LBCI has created a variety of promotional advertisements that are being shared on television, YouTube and via social media platforms. In the clips, the women who form the group introduce themselves and show off some of their moves.

LBCI hopes the campaign will increase Mayyas's chances of winning, a triumph it says will serve "as a message of hope and faith in Lebanon rising again".

Updated: September 14, 2022, 4:01 AM
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