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Why the Audience Was Literally Chanting for V. Unbeatable to Get a Golden Buzzer
Judge Heidi Klum stole the group from Howie Mandel's Dream Team, but was it a strategic play of revenge?
It’s a game of strategy on America’s Got Talent: Fantasy League, with one heart-stopping Act now headed straight for the Finals thanks to a highly anticipated Golden Buzzer from one of the Judges.
The Mumbai-based V. Unbeatable dance troupe made a triumphant return to the Got Talent stage, wowing the world as part of Judge Howie Mandel’s Dream Team in Fantasy League. But Heidi Klum didn’t pass on the opportunity to take V. Unbeatable for herself, launching them into the AGT: Fantasy League Finals and scooping the incredible group up for her Dream Team.
It was a defeat for Howie, who repeatedly referred to the group as not just as his favorite Act in AGTFL but also as his all-time favorite Act in America’s Got Talent history. It came after a particularly impactful dance routine dedicated to one of the group's late member.
Who Was V. Unbeatable’s Semifinal Act Dedicated to?
The Indian group with death-defying moves — which once advanced to the AGT Season 14 Finals with Golden Buzzer glory and again in Season 2 of AGT: The Champions for the win — has always been open about their struggles. They have faced extreme poverty in the slums of Mumbai, as well as challenges with COVID-19 at the height of their success.
But perhaps most impactful was the death of V. Unbeatable’s co-founder, Vikas Gupta, who sustained a spinal injury in 2014 during dance practice and succumbed to his injuries.
“Before we were V. Unbeatable, the name of the group [was] Unbeatable,” one group member told producers.
The V, of course, pays tribute to their dearly departed Vikas.
“You know, it’s hard to lose a brother,” said the tearful dancer. “After that, the whole group lost hope. No one had [the] guts to do this again.”
But Vikas’s father pushed the members — consisting of dancers aged 12 to 27 — to keep dancing to fulfill their dreams. It is why the name “Vikas” appears on the backs of the dancers’ jackets because it gives them the “spiritual power of Vikas always helping us to do impossible things.”
Why Did Heidi Give Them the Golden Buzzer?
V. Unbeatable upped their game in the Fantasy League Semifinals, providing a heart-pounding Act filled with airborne twists and turns, and even flying over the Judges’ heads. At times, it seemed the performers were defying the laws of gravity, with Klum commenting it was “like some movie.”
“I literally sit here and say, ‘Did I just see that?’” Klum told the group. “I mean, it’s so insane!”
The live audience egged Klum to use her Golden Buzzer, chanting “Press it,” much to Mandel’s dissatisfaction.
Mandel jumped to his feet to explain that he’d never been more “excited” to have V. Unbeatable on his Dream Team. That was until Klum heeded the audience’s demands and pressed the Golden Buzzer, showering the group in gold confetti and sending them straight for the Finals.
“Sorry, Howie,” Klum said after joining the dancers onstage.
Was Heidi Klum Out for Revenge?
The strategic move could be seen as an act of revenge since, earlier in the competition, Mandel used his Golden Buzzer to steal acrobatic duo, the Ramadhani Brothers, from Team Heidi, a play that had Klum literally tackle Mandel to the ground.
“I still think you can do better,” Mandel said at the time, repeating himself as he slowly went for the Golden Buzzer. Despite Klum physically trying to stop him, Mandel hilariously used his head (literally) to press the Golden Buzzer and take the Ramadhani Brothers for Team Howie.
It’s not implausible that Klum stealing V. Unbeatable might have been the perfect way to even the score weeks after the Judges wrestled. But Mandel was as happy as anyone else to see the dance group shoot into the Finals.
“It feels good to get the Golden Buzzer,” said V. Unbeatable’s spokesperson. “It feels like a dream come true.”