(NBC) — “America’s Got Talent” has crowned its Season 17 winner and a lot of girl power was involved.
In a finale heavy with international acts, a pole dancing visualist from Australia and a female dance team from Lebanon were the last two acts standing. The dancers from Beirut came away with the Season 17 victory and the show’s million-dollar prize.
“We were shaking out of fear first, but then, of course, it just made so much sense because hard work does pay off and we put in a lot of work into this,” said a member of The Mayyas group.
The team of 36 wowed the judges in their audition early in the season, earning the golden buzzer from Sofia Vergara.
“The moment I saw those girls in the audition, I knew there was something going on, I knew there was something different about them,” said Vergara.
That impression grew through the season’s semi-finals and into their finale performance on Tuesday night.
“I’ve never seen 36 people come together and do something so original, so awe-inspiring,” said judge Howie Mandel.
“This was absolutely the right act to win,” judge Simon Cowell said. “I do believe that. Because we’ve never seen anything like this before.”
And it was hard for runner-up Kristy Sellars to be disappointed.
“I just can’t believe with the level of talent that was in that final, that I’m second place,” said Sellars.
While for the winners, family members half a world away awaited news.
“The first step was just calling them and seeing their tears was the best feeling ever,” said a Mayyas member.
“Lebanon was awake and alive and just waiting,” added another member of the group.
Third place went to breakout country singer Drake Milligan.
“That’s also to show you how close this was if you got two No. 1 hits and he was third place,” said host Terry Crews.
And now, Vegas awaits The Mayyas.
“I hope Vegas is ready for us because we’re ready for Vegas,” said the group’s founder choreographer, Nadim Cherfan.
Artificial intelligence gurus Metaphysic was fourth in the competition and country trio Chapel Hart finished fifth.
About “America’s Got Talent”
“Americas Got Talent,” judges include Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara. Terry Crews is the show’s host.
Undiscovered talent of all ages — singers, dancers, magicians, comics, musicians, ventriloquists and more — appear before celebrity judges who decide which contestants move on in the competition each week. With the guidance of the show’s host, the audience learns the backstories of these amazing people as they strive to make it to the finale, where one talented performer wins a life-changing $1 million prize.
“America’s Got Talent” was created by Simon Cowell and is co-produced by Fremantle and Syco Entertainment. Simon Cowell, Sam Donnelly, Jason Raff, Trish Kinane and Richard Wallace are the executive producers.