During the third round of judges cuts for America’s Got Talent season 14, guest judge Ellie Kemper pressed her golden buzzer for Light Balance Kids, sending them right into the live rounds.
Light Balance Kids is a group of young dancers from Ukraine, founded by one of the members of Light Balance, who previously competed on AGT and AGT Champions. Their ensemble dance is unique because it incorporates light-up costumes and background light animation that bring an added visual element to the performance, which the kids execute mostly in the dark.
During the video package that aired before their performance, one of the members talked about how growing up in Ukraine is different than growing up in America, saying “Our country has been in a war for five years. Some of us had to leave their homes and leave some family members even behind.” She said that being in America was a “dream come true,” and said that for some of the members of the group, flying to the US to compete on America’s Got Talent was their first time on an airplane (she also said their plane was nicer than a house).
The judges, especially Julianne Hough, were excited to see Light Balance Kids as they took the stage. Gabrielle Union addressed them first, asking one of the female members of the group what their age range is (they are ages 11-13). Union then asked her to explain a bit about what they do, and she replied: “We are a dance group, but it’s not just dancing. It’s also lights, programming, coding. There’s a lot that goes into this to make hopefully a good performance.”
Finally, it was time for their performance to begin. Their dance and light show is truly impressive, and their very technical light animations created optical illusions and told a story. Through dance and light, they performed a pseudo-basketball game; the winning moment was when one of the members seemingly flew through the air to dunk a “basketball” into a “hoop.”
Immediately after their performance, Ellie Kemper said “I want more.” The other judges agreed that they really stepped it up from their first audition and had star potential, and Howie said he liked them even better than Light Balance.
When it was Kemper’s turn to address the kids, she said “Okay. You guys, I’m new here. I’m just a guest. I thought this was a definition of a spectacle. It was truly spectacular, it was marvelous. But there are only seven acts that can go forward and I just wish there were some guarantee to get you guys through to the live show. If only there were one surefire way we could get you there.” She paused for dramatic effect before adding “Oh wait. There is. There is!” She slammed her hand down on the golden buzzer in front of her, and Light Balance kids screamed, hugged one another, and cried as the confetti rained down on them.
As they celebrated their golden buzzer, Ellie joined them on stage to give them hugs and tell them, once again, how great their performance was.
After their golden buzzer performance aired on television, Light Balance Kids shared the news on their Instagram page, writing “GOLDEN BUZZER! Still can’t believe in it! Thank you @agt for fulfilling our dream!”
Judge Julianne Hough showed her support for guest judge Kemper’s decision, tweeting “OMG! @lbkidsofficial was INCREDIBLE! They make me wanna dance! #JudgeCuts.”
Light Balance Kids will return to the AGT stage when the live shows begin.
Tune in to America’s Got Talent season 14, Tuesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.