‘America’s Got Talent’ on NBC: Who are The Lads? Acrobats perform daring acts with complex headstands


Hand-to-hand acrobatics have always played an essential role in circus performances. The acrobat pair comprising of Jack Atherton and Tiago Figueiredo will exhibit their expertise and put on a show for the judges on ‘America’s Got Talent.’

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‘America’s Got Talent’ returned to NBC with a fresh crop of brilliant (and some not-so-talented) performers, with the judges and presenter Terry Crews wasting no time in calling their favourites. The auditions stage of the competition is still ongoing, with one more round of auditions remaining. All five golden buzzers for Season 17 have already been given in episodes that you may see with a Peacock membership. Terry Crews gave the first award of the season at the premiere to saxophonist Avery Dixon, while Howie Mandel sent 11-year-old Madison Taylor Baez right to the live performances after hearing her outstanding version of ‘Amazing Grace’. Simon Cowell’s third choice was 13-year-old vocalist Sarah James, who traveled all the way from Poland to compete for the $1 million prize. Sofia Vergara withheld her golden buzzer until the hypnotic dance group Mayyas took the stage, while Heidi Klum awarded the final one of Season 17 after vocalist Lily Meola’s performance convinced her to change her mind about selecting a musician. Chapel Hart’s performance persuaded the judges that they were rising stars, and despite the fact that they’d all utilized their Golden Buzzers, they decided to team up for the highest honor: a Group Golden Buzzer.

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Who are The Lads?

The Lads are Jack Atherton from the United Kingdom and Tiago Figueiredo from Portugal. They put on a show in which an acrobatic base and a flyer balance on top of each other in a gymnastic or acrobatic medium. It combines strength, agility and flexibility. To be termed hand-to-hand acrobatics, the top performer (flyer) must make physical contact with just the hands of the base, with the flyer’s hands keeping them balanced. Flags, plans, one-arm handstands, press to handstand, pikes, straddles, and many more positions may be performed by the top in this type of acrobatics. Hand-to-hand acrobatics can also involve dynamic catches and throws that begin with a throw from a hand-to-hand position and conclude with a catch from the same position. Hand-to-hand acrobatics have been employed throughout history in a number of circumstances. Strongman contests, acro yoga, muscle beaches, acrobatic gymnastics, and circus acrobatics are among them.

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Born in Wigan, England, Jack began his career in the gym before moving on to work with Franco Dragone and Cirque du Soleil. For nine years, Jack was a member of the Great Britain acrobatic sports squad, competing in four European and World Championships. Among his numerous sporting achievements is a European championship. The London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies, ITV’s ‘All Star Mr & Mrs,’ and BBC 1’s ‘When Will I Be Famous?’ are among his performance credits. On stage, he has appeared in ‘Paramour Das Musical,’ ‘Crystal,’ ‘The House of Dancing Water,’ ‘Pirates Reloaded,’ and ‘Pirates Adventure.’ Jack is a multidisciplinary performer as well as an expert porter, both in the air and on the ground. He has a National Diploma in Sports Coaching, Development, and Fitness, as well as certifications as a Junior Sports Leader, Acrobatic Gymnastics Coach, and Lifeguard.

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Tiago Figueiredo, 30, from Portugal, is preparing to compete in ‘AGT’ with his acrobat partner, Jack. His passion for acrobatic gymnastics began when he was eight years old, and he was devoted to the sport for 10 years. During his career, he won seven National Championships, a World Cup, and three medals in the European Championship, among many other achievements. The ‘AGT’ participant found Cirque du Soleil during a workout, and despite everyone telling him it was an unrealistic goal, he pushed for it. “I was so dazzled by what, I knew right away that it was what I wanted to do. Being an artist and awakening emotions in people. But, at the time, there weren’t even Portuguese people there,” he acknowledges.

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However, when competing in the European Championship in 2009, he was observed by Cirque du Soleil scouts, who eventually called him to a casting call. He was the only one who had been accepted and was waiting for a chance to join the firm. It had been on the verge of happening for nine years, but there was always some obstruction that kept the idea from becoming a reality. It came to fruition when he was approached for the fourth time. “Finally it happened. And when I say everything, I really mean everything. Because in previous contacts it was always to make normal characters. This time it was to play the main character, in a show about Avatar. I joined in the middle of the world tour, in China, and stayed until the end”, he explains. Tiago was forced to cancel his trip due to high demand. The man put money into himself and went across the world. ‘AGT’ is now his number one priority.

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Tune in to NBC this Tuesday at 8 pm to see the duo’s stunning performance.

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