Photo Credit: Trae Patton/ NBC
On this season of America’s Got Talent (AGT), we were introduced to an influx of dance groups, but in my opinion there is one group that totally separated itself from the pack. Mumbai-based dance group, V.Unbeatable, has won over fans and judges with jaw-dropping moves and earned a golden buzzer last week in the Judges Cut Round from guest judge Dwayne Wade. Even though this group's road to the AGT quarterfinals has seemed effortless, V.Unbeatable unfortunately endured a major loss six years ago when one of its founding members, Vikas Gupta, passed away after being injured at rehearsals. Today, V.Unbeatable uses Gupta's death to inspire its growth with each performance.
V.Unbeatable's other founding member, Om Prakash, knew he wanted to dance at a young age and quit school after his sophomore year to pursue his dreams. Prakash met Gupta when he started practicing b-boying with other boys from the streets in India. Since Prakash had no money for dance lessons, he learned whatever he saw from whoever was willing to teach him. In 2012, Gupta and Prakash went on to form their own dance group and would train kids from the slums in their free time.
Two years after the group formed, Unbeatable (group's original name) lost Gupta in rehearsals while practicing a stunt that went wrong. Initially, this accident paralyzed Gupta from the neck down, but he passed away a few weeks later. After Gupta’s death, the group renamed itself V.Unbeatable (for Vikas Unbeatable) in his honor and continued to pursue Gupta’s dancing dreams.
In addition to Gupta, this 28-member dance troupe draws a lot of inspiration from Bollywood superstar Ranveer Singh. The bond developed with Singh when he watched V.Unbeatable compete in 2018 on ‘Dance Plus,’ a dance competition show in India. Now that the group is performing on AGT, they draw a lot of inspiration from his music. “Whenever we perform on Ranveer Singh’s songs, our performance is a hit. So, we decided to stick to his number mostly for our performances on AGT,” troupe leader Prakash told IANS.
Photo Credit: Trae Patton/ NBC
Originally, AGT told V.Unbeatable that they could only compete with 20 members, but after Prakash did some convincing, the show finally agreed to let them compete with a full 28-member troupe. V.Unbeatable’s members range from ages 12-27 and most of them are from slums in Bhayander and Naigon in Mumbai. After dedicating their performance to Gupta in the Judges Cut Round, and receiving a golden buzzer to the quarterfinals, this group is set to go to Hollywood for AGT live shows beginning this month. So far, V.Unbeatable’s dance acrobatics, coordinated dives, and choreographed stunts have left judges and audiences in awe, and I’m sure the performances will only become more dynamic as this troupe continues in the competition.
V.Unbeatable’s story is one of strength, determination, and perseverance. When Prakash ran away from home as a teenager, he did it to escape poverty, and now he has enough income to let his father retire from his cycle shop. Prakash regularly sends money home to his parents so they can live a better life. And now, in the wake of losing his partner Gupta, Prakash has led V.Unbeatable to new heights. I’m so excited to see what they do in the quarterfinals of America’s Got Talent this season. One thing is for sure- the lives’ of V.Unbeatable’s 28 members will never be the same again.