Basketball star Dwyane Wade thought he received the loudest applause on “America’s Got Talent” when he was introduced to the crowd as this week’s guest judge.
“Well, since I just retired, I don’t know if I’ll get that ovation anymore,” said Wade, the first athlete to serve as a guest judge. “I felt like I was in Madison Square Garden right there.”
But he was wrong. The biggest cheers went to a dance group from Mumbia, India.
Eighteen acts who impressed the judges during auditions returned for Judges Cuts on Tuesday. And the stakes were high – only seven would advance to the live shows in August.
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Acrobatic dance group V. Unbeatable wowed the crowd and the judges on "America's Got Talent." (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)
For the acrobat dance group V. Unbeatable, the stakes were even higher after they tragically lost a member in a stunt gone wrong.
“Six years ago we were doing rehearsals and suddenly (an) incident happened,” a member of the group said. “(Vikas Gupta) fell down and his body was paralyzed from (the neck) down. After a few weeks he passed away and we were all broken.”
“What we do is very risky,” they added.
The dancers dedicated their performance to Gupta, whose “dream was to be on a stage like this.” All 29 dance members proudly wore his name on their backs, and they did not let him down.
What followed was a jaw-dropping routine that featured flips, high-energy choreography and an unforgettable stunt over the judges.
Last week on ‘America’s Got Talent’: Sophie Pecora, 15, wins Golden Buzzer from Brad Paisley with personal bullying song
“My heart is beating at a rapid pace that I haven’t felt before,” Wade said after asking wife and newcomer judge Gabrielle Union to feel his chest. (And that’s a lot coming from a three time NBA champion.)
“As a former athlete, it’s (29) of you guys on that stage. … I know the practice time it takes,” he continued. “Whenever I hit a big shot, whenever I hit a game winner … I jumped up on the stand and I said ‘This is my house.’ And today, on this stage, this is y’all house.”
Wade hit the Golden Buzzer, advancing V. Unbeatable to the live shows.
His wife approved. “I like retirement D,” Union said.
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First-season 'America's Got Talent' judge Gabrielle Union, left, welcomes her husband, recently retired NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, as a guest judge during Tuesday's Judge Cuts elimination round. (Photo: Trae Patton, NBC)
The six acts joining V. Unbeatable in the live shows are magician Dom Chambers, singing group GFORCE, blind singer Robert Finley, danger group Bir Khalsa, black-light painter Alex Dowis and comedian Ryan Niemiller.
“America’s Got Talent” will return on July 30 for the third round of Judges Cuts.
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