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Inside Murmuration’s “Mesmerizing” Golden Buzzer Audition That Hypnotized Howie

The geometric dance group's ever-shifting synchronized movements are inspired by a phenomenon in nature, Murmuration explained.

By Joe Dziemianowicz

Any time there’s a Golden Buzzer moment on America's Got Talent, you know that the Judges have just seen something super special. 

How to Watch

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

After watching the Audition by the French troupe, Murmuration, Howie Mandel just had to press the Golden Buzzer.

“I find you hypnotic,” said Mandel, as his fellow Judges Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum enthusiastically applauded.

RELATED: Why Sofia Vergara Called the Adorable 7-Year-Old Eseniia Mikheeva a “Mini Star”

What does murmuration mean?

A murmuration refers to the natural phenomenon when starlings, sometimes thousands of them, flock and fly together in synchronized patterns. A murmuration moves fast and is constantly in motion and shifting shapes. 

Birds swoop, twist and twirl together, then split apart, then form a teardrop shape, and then … you never know what's next. But it’s always dazzling. Scientists say a murmuration is a visual way to attract other starlings.

On AGT, Murmurmation certainly caught the eye of the Judges.

Murmuration performs on AGT

Murmuration performing on stage during America's Got Talent.

French choreographer Sadek Waff borrowed inspiration from the synchronized movement of birds for Murmuration, his two-year-old geometric dance group. The artistic work incorporates precise arm moves known as Tutting, a hip-hop dance style inspired by Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Sadek was ill so his brother stepped up for AGT.

“We are 64 dancers,” he said. “We traveled all the way from France. This is a new piece that we created just for America’s Got Talent. I hope it will allow us to reach the stars.” 

Each Murmuration member was dressed in black. Most were seated, some stood. Before the Audition, they blindfolded themselves — no one was peeking in this act. 

RELATED: This Is Why Simon Cowell May Be Quieter Than Usual During AGT 18 Auditions

The music began, and in exact unison, the group moved their arms like in precise and fluid fashion. They formed boxes, Xs, horizontal, and vertical lines and increasingly complex patterns as everything flowed in tight synchronicity. 

AGT Judges react to Murmuration

Heidi Klum:You guys were so amazingly in sync, even though you couldn't see anything. And there's so many of you. It was so elegant. There’s so much grace. I thought it was fantastic.”

Sofia Vergara: “That kind of synchronization is amazing to me. It's spectacular. At the beginning you reminded me of my Golden Buzzer last year, Mayyas. But you guys have your own style and I thought he was magnificent.’

Howie Mandel: “I was mesmerized. I find what you do hypnotic. I think it's very original and I find it almost more magnificent when you get a large group of people and the movements are smaller, but perfect. It blew me away.” 

And before Simon Cowell had a chance to weigh in, Mandel leaned in for the Golden Buzzer. “You’re mesmerizing, you’re original,” said Mandel. “You just moved me.”

Amid the floating confetti, everyone in Murmuration beamed with pride. With one press, Mandel had automatically moved them on to the live shows.

Tune in to America’s Got Talent, airing Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC, and streaming the following day on Peacock.