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‘We can’t believe what’s happening’: Lebanon’s Mayyas react to ‘America’s Got Talent’ win

LOS ANGELES: The wait is over – Lebanese dance crew Mayyas have won season 17 of ‘America’s Got Talent’ and they spoke to Arab News backstage to say they ‘can’t believe what’s going on pass”.

To the cheers of the audience, Mayyas jumped high and won the million dollar grand prize.

“We can’t believe what’s happening,” a band member said after celebrating the crew’s victory on stage. “We can’t believe what we’ve achieved, giving so much energy, quitting our jobs and studies, dedicating our time to training every day to be here representing our country and that’s what we were looking for.”

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“We were very stressed that we had to (prepare the dance) in two to three days, but when we got on stage and heard the cheers, the audience gave us a boost and an adrenaline rush. who wasn’t there and we made it,” another member said.

The team’s choreographer, Nadim Cherfan, said: “This victory allowed me to dream again. When you have a dream and you realize it, you start looking for another dream. So I’m very happy that there is something to look forward to now, something to dream about, something to fight for.

“I’M SO PROUD, @mayyasofficial YOU DESERVE IT!!!!” “AGT” judge Sofia Vergara tweeted after the group was crowned the winner.

The dancers presented Vergara with a necklace with a Lebanese cedar symbol which she showed off in her interview with LBCI Lebanon after the episode aired.

“I come from Barranquilla, Colombia, and in Barranquilla we have a huge community of Lebanese, like Shakira for example. So we grew up eating Lebanese food, dancing to Lebanese music. It is a country that is very close to my heart, ”she told the television channel.

“I’m so happy that in times of trouble and trouble, every once in a while something as beautiful as Mayyas pops up and distracts everyone,” she added. “I am so happy that this is happening. I am happy. These girls deserve the world.

Meanwhile, Judge Simon Cowell said: ‘It’s big. I just think they’re representing the country the way they did, with so much talent and dignity and grace, and doing something that the whole world is going to watch, I think that’s huge.

“I could feel it in the room, this energy behind me and I was like, ‘Nobody’s going to beat them’,” he added. “These people have the most amazing talent and they are such nice people. I wasn’t surprised. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I heard that name.

Cowell believes “world domination” is the next step for Mayyas.

For their winning performance in Tuesday’s finale, the group danced to Arabic beats while wearing white outfits and using burlesque feather fans and sparkling globes of light.

The audience waved Lebanese flags around the room to cheer on the crew.

The dancers received a standing ovation from the four judges – Vergara, Cowell, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel.

“Fabulous. Another level,” said Vergara, who awarded Mayyas the gold buzzer after their first audition in June.

“This is what a million dollars looks like,” Klum said. “You brought your A-game every time you came, and tonight was A-plus.”

Mandel said, “That’s my favorite number on ‘AGT’.”

“It’s so good for you. It’s great for women, women’s empowerment, your culture…” he added.

The group received strong support from their Lebanese fans throughout the competition. The Lebanon Broadcasting Corporation International launched an advertising campaign in the United States with the slogan “Kermalak Ya Lebnen” – which translates to “For You Lebanon” – to promote and support the Mayyas.

LBCI supported the group with advertisements on its television and social media channels, and also worked with local and Arab media in the United States to support the campaign.

“Lebanese all over the world have shown us tremendous support,” Cherfan previously told Arab News. “We received tons of messages. Everyone supports Mayyas. Everyone supports Mayyas. So I’m really grateful to the Lebanese Diaspora who really support the Mayyas.

Many celebrities have also contributed to raising the group’s notoriety.

“May you come back with the title,” Lebanese singer Maya Diab wrote on her Instagram Stories after their last performance. “You have elevated the name of Lebanon simply by presenting the art in such a beautiful way that has gotten the world talking about it. We love you and are proud of you no matter the outcome.

Superstar Haifa Wehbe also backed the group ahead of the final result.

“Mayyas wowed the judges and audience of ‘America’s Got Talent’ with a spectacular performance. Keep voting,” she said.

Dubai-based Lebanese influencer Karen Wazen wrote: “Speechless. It just keeps getting better,” sharing a clip from their latest performance.

The Mayyas have had a habit of winning for quite some time when it comes to TV talent shows.

Cherfan, who was 14 when he fell in love with the world of dance, formed the group in order to participate in the sixth season of “Arabs Got Talent”, where the group dazzled, amazed the judge and the Lebanese pop star Najwa Karam who rewarded them. immediate access to the final with its golden buzzer. They were eventually crowned champions.

“I chose a female team, because I wanted to convey a message about the emancipation of women, because we all know that even today, Arab women are still called as dancers. I wanted to prove how much dance is elegant, refined and beautiful,” Cherfan said in an interview with Arab News at the time. “And who better than these gorgeous ladies to do it?

But winning one of the most prestigious talent titles in the Middle East was not enough. With success came self-inflicted pressure to do even better. “The golden buzzer, the standing ovation, the nice comments from the judges and winning the title itself are challenges because they mean stress and responsibility – in these times (all I think is c ‘is)” And then? How can I do better? “Said Cherfan.

That same year, Mayyas participated in “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions”, a spin-off of “Britain’s Got Talent”, in which the group was the only group from the Middle East to participate.

The response from the judges and audience was overwhelming. “Absolutely brilliant – brilliant, inventive… (I’ve) never seen a dance like this in any of these shows,” judge Simon Cowell said at the time.

About Debra D. Johnson

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