Spoilers ahead for the season 17 finale of America’s Got Talent.
Season 17 of America’s Got Talent ended, and the two-hour finale brought back AGT icons like ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer as well as familiar faces like comedian Lace Larrabee before host Terry Crews began eliminating acts. The competition was tough, and it felt like everyone was playing when the top eleven were narrowed down to the top three from pole dancer Kristy Sellars, country music singer Drake Milligan (who brought back a fan favorite song) and the dance group Mayyas, winner of the golden buzzer. After a few tense minutes towards the end, Crews broke the big news: after a close vote, the Mayyas were the season 17 champions!
The Mayyas are the season 17 champions
Even though the final XI was packed with incredibly talented performers, the all-female Lebanese dance group taking home the top prize didn’t come as a huge shock. Sofia Vergara gave them her golden buzzer after their audition (and they ranked as the most likely golden buzzer winner win first prize). Made up of around 40 Lebanese women of different ages, they took on many challenges to win the million dollar prize and the Las Vegas show prize.
Simon Cowell called Mayyas’ final performance “astonishing” and “overall”, while Howie Mandel – who gave her golden buzzer to pre-teen singer Madison Taylor Baez – named them his “all-time favorite act” on America’s Got Talent. Heidi Klum had the foresight to say this was “what a million dollar act looks like.” As for Sofia Vergara? She said “their act was spectacular and gave me goosebumps” from the first moment she saw them.
This band’s win wasn’t the biggest prime-time surprise ever, but how close was the vote? Terry Crews shared some thoughts with CinemaBlend and other outlets after the finale.
How close was the final vote for season 17?
In an exciting development, the first three were three completely different types of performers. Singer Drake Milligan was one of the first contestants all season to advance to the finals after the first week of qualifying. with his country song “Kiss Goodbye All Night”, while Kristy Sellars was pole dancing to a totally unexpected new level with its acrobatics combined with spotlights and storytelling. And then, of course, there were the Mayya dancers. When Terry Crews joined Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel to speak to the press after the final, the host shared that Mayyas didn’t win by a huge margin. He said:
I have to say one thing about tonight. The fact that Drake Milligan, who had two number one hits, finished third will show you how close the vote was. You know what I mean? Oh, that was really close, man. That’s the thing — because any of those acts could have won it all, which is crazy.
Terry Crews didn’t provide exact numbers, but it appears to be whether Mayyas, Kristy Sellars or Drake Milligan would be named champions by the end of the night. If ever there was proof that even the best acts in a season need all of their fans to come out and vote, it’s news that Milligan and Sellars have bonded!
Of course, I don’t know if many people could argue that anyone deserved it more than Mayyas. Not only have they stood out from the pack this season, they’re incredibly original even in the grand scheme of a show that’s already been running for nearly twenty seasons. Their dances are choreographed to the finest detail and performed with such skill and grace that I can imagine their stage show will be a big hit in Vegas.
Take a look at their final performance that clinched their victory:
When it was the end of the last season of America’s Got Talent (and you can always rewatch the highs and lows in streaming with a Peacock subscription), there’s a lot to look forward to in the not-too-distant future. The season for fall TV premieres is approaching, so be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to start planning ahead!