A Lebanese alternative dance troupe has won the top prize on the popular American television show America’s Got Talent, becoming the first Arab participants to do so.
Mayyas, an all-female dance act, won the $1m prize, and the chance to headline a Las Vegas show, after they received the most votes from the public, beating the other 10 finalists.
“Lebanon, this one’s for you,” the group said on their Instagram page following their win in the two-hour finale.
Mayyas has hypnotised audiences with their Arabesque moves and fluid choreography set against creative visual effects. Judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel all praised the group’s performances as “astonishing” and “mesmerising”.
The troupe said their name had come from the Arabic word for “the proud walk of a lioness”.
During their final act, Mayyas’s members wore golden face masks, white feathered belly-dancer outfits, and carried sparkling globes of light as they performed, which was met by a standing ovation from the show’s audience and judges.
This is not 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 went on to win that show as well.