After Winning America's Got Talent Season 17, Mayyas Explain What They Had To Be 'Strong Enough' To Overcome

Mayyas in the America's Got Talent Season 17 finale
(Image credit: NBC)

Season 17 of America’s Got Talent was jam-packed with the kinds of acts that had never before come to the show. The final eleven were whittled down to the top two of pole dancer Kristy Sellars (who tried a new trick for the first time for her live performance) and the all-female Lebanese dance group Mayyas. After what host Terry Crews revealed was an incredibly close vote, Mayyas were named the Season 17 champions! Following their win, they shared one part of training that they had to be very strong to overcome. 

Although AGT has featured plenty of dancers over the years (and even had some standouts like Max Ostler in addition to Mayyas in Season 17), the intricate choreography, fluid movement, and the teamwork marked them as potential winners from their very first performance. The group – comprised of around 40 women – earned Sofia Vergara’s golden buzzer and seemed guaranteed to easily make the grand final at least. But while they may not have had a hard time earning applause this season, they did face some serious challenges in training. 

When they spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets following the finale, I asked about how they worked as a group as opposed to solo performers, like so many others on AGT. Dancer Maryjoe Tarabay shared:

It's really hard. Being solo is more pressure when you're on stage, but being a group is harder for us to do one training, to be all in the same training, especially for us with the visuals. If one person is not in the training, we can't train. So this is one of the hardest things we faced. But eventually, we were strong enough to train from Monday to Sunday with no rest days for four months for AGT. And now here we are!

Mayyas’ hypnotic dance moves work so well because each of the dancers moves in sync with the others, and it’s particularly dazzling to watch in light of how many of them there are. The downside of working in a large group where every person is essential, according to Maryjoe Tarabay, is that any one missing dancer meant that the whole performance couldn’t be properly trained. As their triumph in AGT proved, however, they definitely were strong enough to work together and put in the hours to come out on top. Who can argue that they earned the top prize when they spent four months rehearsing without any rest days? 

The top prize is, of course, a Las Vegas stage show and $1 million. They group shared with press that the plan for the $1 million was to split in between all of the dancers, and their choreographer is going to open a new dance studio for training in Lebanon. In case you missed the performance that earned them the $1 million – or, like me, are just happy to have an excuse to watch it again – take a look!

Congratulations to the Mayyas for all of their hard work paying off with the victory in America’s Got Talent Season 17! Although they were favorites to win (even among the judges), the finale felt like it could still be anybody’s game once the final eleven were narrowed down to the top five. Those five grand-finalists were Metaphysic (who deepfaked Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, and Elvis Presley despite some challenges), Chapel Hart (after their emotional original song), Drake Milligan (who brought back his first hit song from his AGT audition), and of course Kristy Sellars and Mayyas.

If you want to relive the highs and lows of Season 17, you can do so now with a Peacock subscription. You can also plan ahead for what to watch in the coming weeks now that America’s Got Talent has wrapped for the year with our 2022 TV premiere schedule.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).