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See This Bubbly 13-Year-Old Turn Into a Nightmare on AGT: “It’s Like the Exorcist"

Arshiya Sharma had audiences shielding their eyes with a bone-breaking contortionist routine unlike anything AGT has ever seen. 

By Jax Miller

It’s another season of America’s Got Talent, and the performances just keep getting better and better… and in some cases, creepier and creepier.

How to Watch

Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

Halloween came early for Judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel in their Season 19 return, with a contortionist Act so terrifying that audiences had to shield their eyes. Even Cowell crossed his fingers in the middle of the head-turning routine to ward off any evil spirits from the exceptionally talented performer.

“It’s like the exorcist,” said Cowell as he looked on in horror.

How old is Arshiya Sharma?


Arshiya Sharma, the young girl behind what Cowell called a “brilliant” Act, is just 13 years old.

Leaving India for the first time to take the AGT stage, Arshiya came on with bows in her hair, a cozy sweater, and beamed a child-like smile. She introduced herself to Judges as a dancer from Jammu, Kashmir, saying she wanted her performance to be set apart from the rest.

Arshiya on stage during AGT Episode 1901.

“I am a dancer, but I don’t want to be like others; I want to be different,” said the bubbly young girl. “So, I tried doing gymnastics and added some flexibility moves into my dance to be different.”

Arshiya excused herself to “prepare” for the routine and exited the stage. Crew members then rolled out a creepy dollhouse, and soon, Arshiya reappeared in terrifying fashion.

Inside the horror-themed dance Arshiya performed

Arshiya on stage during AGT Episode 1901.

The transformed teen, now wearing tattered clothes, white contact lenses, and covered in fake blood, made the audiences' hair stand with a contortionist routine unlike anything else. To the tune of a distorted “Ring Around the Rosie,” Arshiya practically tied her limbs in knots with bone-crunching sound effects, bending in impossible ways across the stage.

“The chihuahua turned into a werewolf,” Cowell would later say.

Some maneuvers involved her (literally) landing on her neck. In another, the girl executed a mid-air black flip before landing flat on her chest. It was one thing for a contortionist to invert their body, but Arshiya inverted her body again and again and again.

Even Vergara tried to cover her eyes, but there was no looking away.

In the end, crowds were left speechless and stunned until erupting into a standing ovation.

What did the Judges say about Arshiya?

Arshiya on stage during AGT Episode 1901.

Arshiya’s Act might have earned her four enthusiastic yes votes, but Mandel playfully cautioned viewers from trying it at home.

“You know, I have two daughters and two granddaughters, and this is the scariest, most horrific dance recital I have ever been to,” he said.

Klum, who expected Arshiya to return to the stage in “a pretty dress,” called the teen “one of the best contortionists” they’d ever seen. She commended Arshiya for her daring back flip, which the teen performed for audiences once more with seemingly no effort whatsoever.

“I mean, I wondered sometimes, when you were in the middle of it, ‘There’s no way she’s going to be able to detangle,’” Vergara added. “But you did every time and got into a worse position after.”

Cowell piggybacked on Klum’s comments, saying he, too, expected Arshiya to return with a “Disney routine” or something similar on account of her “sweet” demeanor. Of course, it was anything but.

“And then you come back as Linda Blair,” Cowell said in reference to the lead actress from the 1973 horror film The Exorcist. “It was just so unexpected, and frightening, and brilliant at the same time.”

Cowell said it was precisely what contestants needed for their two-to-three-minute Auditions on AGT.

“Everyone’s going to be talking about you tomorrow,” Cowell continued. “Trust me.”

Watch all-new episodes of America’s Got Talent, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and streaming the next day on Peacock.