When America’s Got Talent judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mendel and Heidi Klum heard from a group of dancers on stage that they were about to be hypnotized, the panel could have no idea the veracity of this. But hypnosis is exactly what the Mayyas – an all-female dance group from Lebanon whose name means the “proud walk of a lioness” – managed to pull off, earning a golden ringing moment from a judge and rare praise from another on Tuesday (June 21 episode).
“Unfortunately, being a dancer as an Arab is not yet fully supported,” said one of the dancers before the show, choreographed by Nadim Cherfan. “Standing on the biggest stage in the world is our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”
When it was time to perform, the dancers asked the judges to get closer to each other in order to have the best experience. From there, the women gathered in a single line and began creating shapes with their arms and hands, sometimes using props such as feathers, creating the illusion that the few dozen pairs of arms were growing beautifully from the single dancer in front.
The line then parted to reveal to the audience all the faces of the Mayya women, which were half-covered in jeweled masks. As they piled their arms together to create wave-like shapes – at one point forming a pair of eyes with a dancer in the center of each representing the student – the crowd cheered.
Once the group finished their routine by reforming into the original single-file line, the judges were stunned. After all four gave the Mayyas a standing ovation, Vergara said, “There are no words to explain to you how we felt here.”
“You said you were going to hypnotize us,” Mendel commented. “When we sat here and watched the movement and the perfection and the time and effort that went into it, we were mesmerized by what you did.”
“It’s really, really going to make a difference, period, in so many ways,” Cowell said. “It was arguably the best dance number we’ve probably ever seen. And we’re honored to have you here.
Then came the time to vote – not that three of the judges even had a chance. “I would be so honored to give you even more power on this journey, because you deserve it,” Vergara said before slamming her Golden Buzzer once a season – indicating an act can go straight to the shows of live performance – causing a torrential rain of confetti to take to the stage. “I want to be part of it!”
Watch the Mayyas’ piercing dance routine below: