America’s Got Talent: The Champions S2 doesn’t just feature performers from the United States. 40 acts from all around the world, all of which have made it to (or near) the top of the Got Talent reality show franchise in their own countries, are coming to America to strut their stuff, own the stage and entertain the living daylights out of us.
While there are singing and dancing talent shows a-plenty, America’s Got Talent (AGT) is on our must-watch list because it opens the stage to all sorts of other kinds of performances that don’t otherwise have a platform. There is no TV show for dog acts, roller-skaters, trapeze artists and acrobats, escape artists, or for a performer who does crossbow tricks. This season, host Terry Crews and judges Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel will be joined by new to “Champions” judges Heidi Klum and Alesha Dixon. And they have their work cut out for them as they weigh up these vastly different performers against one another. Check out just five of the acts coming up this season who are breaking the mould…
Winner of Germany’s Das Supertalent in 2017
Finalist in Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions in 2019
Dog trainer Alexa (who was 11 years old when she got on the AGT stage) has trained her eight mutts of all sorts and sizes to do tricks on her command, including jumping through hoops, over her, and even jumping over one dog while it’s busy rolling over or over the crossed front paws of two dogs who’re standing on their hind legs forming a bridge. The tricks start simple and grow more and more spectacular. Alexa’s hero is her dad, Wolfgang. He is also a dog trainer, and he and his dogs performed at the 33rd International Circus Festival in Monte Carlo in 2009.
Semi-finalist in Holland’s Got Talent in 2019
Semi-finalist in Germany’s Das Supertalent in 2019
“Horror magician” Miki Dark’s leather outfit, glowering gaze, silent act and sinister facepaint set him aside from your average birthday party clown. Judge Heidi Klum will have to gather all her courage when he commands her to be part of his knife throwing act, because we wouldn’t trust this man to throw so much as a pie at us. Miki does an excellent job of building suspense as he sets up his elaborate act step by step, leaving us wondering what the final result will be.
Semi-finalists in America’s Got Talent in 2011
This trio of acrobats features gymnast Cassie Sandou, her husband Konstantin and Konstantin’s brother Sergei, who met while performing at the same amusement park. The two brothers bounce Cassie around on her Russian bar, a flexible pole that she performs tricks on. It’s a difficult discipline at the best of times, and doing it blindfolded cranks things up a notch. Not enough? What if the floor was on fire or Cassie was performing suspended over a bed of nails? Movie fans might remember the Sandou Trio from their brief appearance in The Greatest Showman (2017).
Winner of Africa’s Got Talent in 2018
Congolese-Cameroonian contortionist and dancer Strauss claims to have Africa’s most flexible body. This consummate showman can pretzel himself up until you have to stare for quite a while to work out which body part is going where. Strauss will both gross you out and thrill you with elegance. The shifts in his music enhance what you’ll be seeing on stage as he works with the rhythm fluidly, and with strategically placed cracks and pops that make you wonder if he’s just broken something. Strauss moves like something out of a horror film. Have you ever seen a man twist his head around like an owl?
Finalist in Britain's Got Talent in 2016
On the surface this dance troupe might seem like a gimmick. But while the visual effect of a squad of dancers in Star Wars movie franchise Stormtrooper outfits is both striking and hilarious, there’s some real skill underpinning this act. The design of the suits and the way they move emphasises every move that hits the beat as they flash black and white. Aside from doing formation dancing, they incorporate acrobat elements and tumbling and old-school breakdancing. If you’ve never seen them before, you’re about to find out why judge Simon Cowell calls them one of his favourite acts ever. The other judges will have to watch Simon around that Golden Buzzer.
America’s Got Talent: The Champions S2 starts on Friday, 31 July at 19:00 on M-Net (DStv 101).
- America’s Got Talent S15 starts Thursday, 6 August on M-Net (DStv 101) at 18:00
- Maak My Famous S2 is airing on Wednesdays on kykNET (DStv 148) at 20:00 or binge it on Catch Up and check out the previous season on Showmax
- Binge The Voice South Africa S3 on Showmax
- Binge Dancing With The Stars South Africa S1 on Showmax
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