Mumbai-based dance group V Unbeatable emerged as winners at America's Got Talent: The Champions Season 2. The show's judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Alesha Dixon, and Howie Mandel gave a standing ovation to the group right after they were declared as winners.
The group's 28 acrobatic dancers, who ranged in age from 12 to 27, wept, jumped for joy, punched the air and fell to the ground when they won.
'Thank you so much,' one dancer said, as golden confetti fell all around them, and the show's judges joined them onstage. 'This means the world to us.'
The crowd was thrilled for the Mumbai-based dancers, whom they'd earlier seen perform a propulsive routine accompanied by drummer Travis Barker of Blink-182. As it ended, a dancer flew over Travis and grabbed a drumstick from his outstretched hand.
The audience rose to give V. Unbeatable a standing ovation, moved by their story and their performance.
Many of the group's dancers had grown up in the slums, and they struggled to continue their craft, especially after the death of one of their leaders.
'Life in Mumbai is very difficult, but being a part of V. Unbeatable gives us wings,' a dancer said in voiceover during their auditions. 'It allows us to fly.'
The group had won two Golden Buzzers during their time on AGT shows, and wowed viewers by throwing each other across the stage, walking up walls and performing synchronized flips.
Their tight, kinetic movements never failed to impress, so they had been bitterly disappointed to get cut after reaching fourth place in last year's AGT semifinals.
The first time he saw them, judge Simon Cowell, 60, made a bold prediction about the group.
'The show's called America's Got Talent, but really, it's the world's got talent,' he said. 'This is going to change your life. I really do believe that.'
Judge Howie Mandel, 64, was also blown away by their skill when he saw them do one insane routine, calling them 'by far the best act that has ever graced any talent show.'
'They have more passion and more dedicated than any group I've ever seen,' he added.
In second place after V. Unbeatable were the death-defying acrobatic artists Duo Transcend, from Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tyler Butler-Figueroa, an 11-year-old violinist, took third, while flexibly voiced singer Marcelito Pomoy, was in fourth place, and risk-taking acrobats Sandou Trio Russian Bar earned fifth.
Before America's Got Talent: The Champions, the group had participated in Indian dance relality shows like Dance Plus 4 and India Banega Manch.
In 2019, they first appeared on America's Got Talent. At that time, they were able to secure fourth position in the competition. This time, however, they came prepared and lifted the trophy.
Earlier, many Bollywood celebrities took to social media to wish all the luck to the dance group. In one of the performances on the show, they danced on Ranveer Singh's song - Tattad Tattad - from his film Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela. Seeing their powerful performance, the actor shared a video wishing them for making to the finals.
He said, "I am very happy that V Unbeatable have made it to the finals of America's Got Talent. This is unprecedented. I'd like to give my best wishes to the troupe. I just want to say that whatever you have achieved on the world stage is unprecedented. To do what you guys have done on the world stage in such a spectacular fashion, you have won the hearts of the entire nation."