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Setbacks Since V. Unbeatable's AGT Success Won't Stop the Group From Dancing
Despite having some major success since competing in AGT Season 14 and winning AGT: The Champions, COVID-19 had the group back at square one.
Few can forget India’s premiere dance group, V. Unbeatable, and why their time on America’s Got Talent left such a lasting impact. Despite setbacks since their AGT success, the dancers show no signs of stopping, carrying on with their inspirational journey.
What is V. Unbeatable?
First appearing on AGT in 2019, the Mumbai-based troupe of 28 dancers wowed Judges with a heart-stopping Audition. Members aged 12 to 27 were thrown into the air, performing balancing acts and a perfectly synchronized routine accompanied by upbeat drums and cultural music.
The group later earned the highly sought-after Golden Buzzer by NBA All-Star and AGT guest Judge Dwyane Wade.
V. Unbeatable pulled on the Judges’ heartstrings when describing their “challenging” living situation in the overpopulated slums of Mumbai. There, the dancers lived without clean water and electricity, with as many as seven to 10 people living in cramped one-room quarters.
“Each day, we pray for a better life,” one of the dancers told AGT producers. “But in the slums, there is very little opportunity for us.”
On top of living in impoverished conditions, the dancers faced a tragic setback when the group’s co-founder, Vikas Gupta, suffered a fatal spinal injury in 2015 during a dance practice, according to The Khaleej Times. V. Unbeatable’s uniforms commonly include the word “Vikas” on the backs of their uniforms to pay tribute.
V. Unbeatable went on to compete as finalists in the AGT Season 14 quarter-finals but was ultimately beaten by Kodi Lee.
They returned to the AGT stage in 2020 for Season 2 of America’s Got Talent: The Champions, explaining how publicity from the show got them recognition in India and a live spot in Las Vegas.
They also announced that an Indian film about their journey was in the works.
“We were very disappointed we couldn’t get the title, but there’s always a second chance in life,” one of the dancers told Judges.
For AGT: The Champions, the group got the Golden Buzzer once more, this time from Judge Howie Mandel, after a death-defying dance.
They climbed the ranks and reached first place, ultimately beating trapeze artists Duo Transcend and keeping true to their name.
Setbacks Since V. Unbeatable’s AGT Success
V. Unbeatable’s victory after returning to India was suppressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing them to cancel their upcoming international shows, according to NPR. During lockdown, the dancers were confined to their previous state of living, some even having to sell vegetables on the side of the road to get by.
One of the group’s co-founders, Omprakash Chauhan, said he cried because his nights were “so sleepless.”
“I’m scared that all our hard work will go down the drain,” said the dancer.
Choreographer Swapnil Bhoir said, “What was supposed to be the best times of our lives became the toughest.” Some members created short dance videos to keep anxieties at bay, per NPR.
“You may win or achieve something great, but that doesn’t mean your life is set,” said Bhoir in the September 2020 interview. “Sometimes you have to start from zero again, and we’re prepared to do that.”
Thankfully, the group’s members were already well-versed in perseverance.
V. Unbeatable's Inspirational Comeback
After lockdown requirements were relaxed, V. Unbeatable got back on its feet. Since early 2023, the group has grown to a whopping 45 members and had a wonderous comeback with their first international performances at Dubai’s Global Village, a popular destination showcasing talent from more than 90 countries, per The Khaleej Times.
“Everything that we had worked towards was finally bearing fruit,” V. Unbeatable’s creative director Maahesh More told the outlet about their AGT win. “It gave us recognition and validated us in the eyes of a lot of detractors.”
V. Unbeatable team manager Vibhav Gupta said they were “over the moon” when first invited to Dubai.
“To be able to perform at a stage like Global Village in front of thousands every day, I feel like this was the break we needed after the lull of Covid,” Gupta told The Khaleej Times in January 2023.
V. Unbeatable keeps busy, per a look at their Facebook and Instagram pages. The group recently danced to celebrate India’s Independence Day and frequently performs at local amusement parks and conventions.
Season 28 at the Global Village ended in April, though of their recent 2023 season, the Global Village website stated, “audiences were treated to some high-energy, sometimes jaw-dropping routines that had everyone spellbound.”
Here’s hoping for the group’s continued success!