Mayyas 'astonish' judges in 'America's Got Talent' final

Winner of season 17 will be revealed on Wednesday night in the US

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Lebanese dance troupe Mayyas performed in the America's Got Talent finals on Tuesday night, "astonishing" judges.

The co-ordinated dance featured white, feathered outfits and sparkling globes of light in a moody routine that won a standing ovation from the crowd.

"Fabulous," shouted judge Sofia Vergara, who gave Mayyas her golden buzzer after their first audition. "Another level."

"This is what a million dollars looks like," said fellow judge Heidi Klum. "You brought your A game every time you came and tonight it was A plus."

Simon Cowell said the performance was "astonishing". "Something has happened with you where I'm beginning to feel a buzz beyond the show. This has landed.

"It's global. It's huge. I don't think you can top that."

Howie Mandel simply shouted: "Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

"This is my favourite act ever on AGT," he continued. "That's so great for you. It’s great for women, female empowerment, your culture."

Host Terry Crews said: "your whole country has rallied behind you since the auditions", asking what they want to say to their fans in Lebanon.

"We have made it this far because of you," responded one member of the dance troupe. "Thank you so much."

The results of the finals will be revealed on Wednesday night in America.

The story of Mayyas

In June, the group made their America's Got Talent debut and impressed judges Cowell, Klum, Mandel and Vergara so much that they received a golden buzzer and fast track to the live shows.

Watch the full audition here

However, the successful audition was not the female troupe's first talent show appearance.

Mayyas was founded in Beirut by Nadim Cherfan, who is also the act's choreographer. He started dancing aged 14 and attended workshops in the UK, the US and India. He launched his own dance classes in studios around the Lebanese capital in 2012, before forming the Mayyas.

In 2019, the group appeared on the sixth series Arabs Got Talent and went on to win the series. In the same year, they participated in Britain's Got Talent: The Champions, an international spin-off of the talent show on UK TV.

Appearing on America's Got Talent, the group now have their sights set on winning the coveted $1 million prize. Their 2019 Arabs Got Talent win came with a new car and a 200,000 Saudi riyal ($53,333) cash prize.

During their America's Got Talent audition, the group explained their name, saying it "is a word in Arabic that means the proud walk of a lioness".

Vergara also asked the group about life in Lebanon right now, to which they replied: "Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle."

To support Mayyas, the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International, better known as LBCI, launched Kermalak Ya Lebnen — For You Lebanon, a campaign from inside America aimed at Lebanese and Arab expatriates 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 that will serve "as a message of hope and faith in Lebanon rising again".

Updated: September 14, 2022, 4:29 AM