Mayyas, an all-female dance act from Lebanon, won the $1 million prize and the chance to headline a show in Las Vegas.
A Lebanese alternative dance troupe has won the top prize on popular American television show America’s Got Talent, becoming the first Arab entrant to do so.
Mayyas, an all-female dance act, won the $1 million prize and the chance to headline a show in Las Vegas after receiving the most votes from the public, beating the other 10 finalists.
“Lebanon, this one’s for you,” the group said on their Instagram page after winning the two-hour final.
Mayyas mesmerized the audience with her arabesque moves and flowing choreography against creative visual effects. Judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel all hailed the band’s performances as “astonishing” and “fascinating”.
—Howie Mandel (@howiemandel) September 14, 2022
The troupe said its name comes from the Arabic word meaning “the proud march of a lioness”.
During their final act, the members of Mayyas wore golden masks, white feathered belly dancer outfits and carried sparkling globes of light as they performed, which was met with a standing ovation from the audience. and show judges.
This isn’t the dance troupe’s first reality TV win. Founded by choreographer Nadim Cherfan, Mayyas appeared on the sixth season of Arabs Got Talent in 2019 and won that show as well.
In the same year, they reached the semi-final after appearing on Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions, an international spin-off of the UK talent show.
During their audition for the 17th season of America’s Got Talent last June, actress Judge Vergara was so impressed with Mayyas that she gave them the golden buzzer, which sped them into the live shows.
“I’m so proud,” Vergara tweeted after the winners were announced. “You deserve it!”
Mayyas has enjoyed popular support not only from his home country, but from the Arab world, amassing nearly 370,000 followers on the group’s Instagram page.
Many Lebanese Mayyas fans have praised the troupe for representing them on the international stage, at a time when the country is increasingly mired in chaos and plagued by political corruption, high inflation and worsening poverty. economic crisis.
Lebanese pop singer Maya Diab tweeted her support just before the winners were announced.
“I hope you come home with the title…you have elevated the name of Lebanon by showing the rest of the world the best of art,” she wrote.