|A member of the World Taekwondo demonstration team jumps up to break wooden boards during the finals of "America's Got Talent." Courtesy of World Taekwondo|
By Hwang Dong-hee
The World Taekwondo (WT) demonstration team put on another spectacular show at the season finale of "America's Got Talent," capturing the interest and curiosity of the audience with the Olympic sport.
During the live show at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Sep. 14 (PST), the team swept the stage one last time with its trademark flying kicks and shattering of wooden boards.
The performance was choreographed as two opposing groups battling each other on the stage. After the head-to-head combat, sparring and acrobatics, the troupe finished the action movie-like sequence full of energy, leaving the stage with piles of debris from the wooden boards.
Magician Dustin Tavella, however, was announced the winner, following "the closest vote ever." The 35-year-old walked away with $1 million in prize money as well as a headlining show in Las Vegas.
|A member of the demonstration team shatters wooden boards with his high-flying kicks. The team's final performance was choreographed as two opposing groups battling each other on the stage. Courtesy of World Taekwondo|
After the results were announced, WT President Choue Chung-won said that he is "immensely proud" of the team.
"To have reached the finals is an incredible achievement. Not only did they showcase the best of our sport to millions of people, but they also promoted the important message that peace is more precious than triumph," he said.
"I am sure that their fantastic performances have now inspired many people in America and around the world to practice Taekwondo."
Throughout the season, the troupe received widespread praise for their gravity-defying acrobatics and choreography. The team had previously been fast-tracked to the quarterfinals by Terry Crew's Golden Buzzer and was lauded by the judges in every round.
Heidi Klum, one of the judges on the show, said, "I've been screaming the entire time… I still don't understand how you do it. I mean, you're walking stairs in the air! It's insane what you do."
In a video message before the finals, the team said that the journey gave the members an "unbreakable bond" and made them stronger as a team.