Mayyas gave Sofia Vergara a cedar tree necklace for 'America's Got Talent' final

'Lebanon is a country that's very close to my heart,' the actress said after the troupe's triumph

Sofia Vergara was given the cedar tree necklace by Mayyas after they won season 17 of 'America's Got Talent'. Photo: WireImage
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Lebanese dance troupe Mayyas thanked Sofia Vergara for her support throughout America's Got Talent with a touching gift, a golden cedar tree necklace.

The judge, who fast-tracked the dancers to the semi-finals by using her golden buzzer during their initial audition, showed off the present when speaking to the media after the final.

"These girls were supposed to win," Vergara told a LBCI TV reporter. She then pointed to her necklace and said: "Look what they gave me ... it's beautiful."

The cedar tree is the national emblem of Lebanon, and features on the country's flag.

Vergara was then asked about the message of hope the dancers have sent back to Lebanon and about her own connection with Lebanese culture.

"I come from Barranquilla, Colombia, and in Barranquilla we have a gigantic community of Lebanese people," Vergara explained. "Like Shakira, for example, she's from Barranquilla.

"So we grew up eating Lebanese food, dancing to Lebanese music, it's a country that's very close to my heart. I am so happy that in moments of problems and troubles every once in a while something as beautiful as Mayyas comes up and distracts everybody.

"I am so happy that it's happening and I am glad; those girls deserve the world."

Scroll through the gallery below for highlights of Mayyas' 'America's Got Talent' journey

Before the final, #haabibatalmashaheer, which translates to the people's sweetheart, was trending in Lebanon with a photo of the Colombian actress. She gushed: "I need to go [to Lebanon]! Invite me!"

"The first thing I told them when I won is: 'You guys didn't need me, you were going to win AGT no matter what'," she said of the troupe.

"They were perfection, hard-working people with the most amazing talent and those girls, the world is opening for them right now and I hope and I promise I am going to go see them in Vegas, or wherever they are performing."

During their America's Got Talent audition, the group explained the meaning behind 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."

Another dancer said: "Unfortunately, being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet."

When asked about their dream, they said that being there "on the biggest stage in the world" is their "only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight".

Sofia Vergara has previously worn clothes by Lebanese designers, including Zuhair Murad's Rise from the Ashes T-shirts. Photo: Instagram / Sofia Vergara

During the finale, Vergara wore a sequinned navy dress by Laura Basci, a Swiss fashion designer who lives in Los Angeles. Basci also designed the yellow dress she wore at the Emmy Awards on Monday.

Vergara is a long-time supporter of Lebanese designers and has worn pieces by Georges Chakra and Zuhair Murad in the past. In August 2020, she posted a photo of herself wearing one of Murad's Rise from the Ashes T-shirts, created to raise money for Beirut disaster relief.

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Updated: September 26, 2022, 10:16 AM