The Argentine group Malevo is one of seven acts to have made it through to the live shows on this season of America’s Got Talent. Comedian and guest judge George López pressed the golden button (a magic button that automatically sends the artist through without the other judges’ approval) to get the group through to the live shows.
Malevo 17-42 is a percussion and dance group consisting of men aged 17 to 42 (it’s in the name!) that play Argentine folklore, specifically malambo (more on that below). In their own words: “We are the Magic Mike of Argentina.” They have been tagged as the “sexy” group of the 11th season of America’s Got Talent: Mel B was screaming for a long time during their choreography, which was performed with blazing whips and got the judges on their feet. Just watch the video below.
The malambo is a dance traditionally performed by gauchos: born around the 1600s in the Pampa, it’s a dance performed solely by men to the beat of the bombo legüero drum and is an exception within Argentine folklore in that it isn’t accompanied by singing or lyrics. The bombo legüero, named thus because it can supposedly be heard a league (legua) away, also has its origins in Argentina (specifically in Santiago del Estero Province). In addition, the word malevo comes from the Spanish word “malévolo” or “evil”: in lunfardo, it refers to a thug or troublemaker.
In their first appearance in the audition, we complained about the use of stock music (as in, stock photos) in the background for their performance and testimonials. The new testimonial video took things to a whole new level, making the importance of dance in their lives more important then ever before:
“Without dance, I don’t know where I would be. In jail, on drugs, or even dead,” said one of Malevo’s eight members, who also says that dancing was a way to keep them off the streets.
The testimonial went on to show images of what looks like a villa, overlapped with comments such as “we kind of lived in poverty” and “sometimes we didn’t even have food.” There is also a shot where there is a rainbow over their neighborhood and childhood photos: you know, the sort of video that makes you appreciate how unique and special the bond between these musicians really is. Cue stock music and fade out.
The live shows begin on July 26th. Let’s just relive the magic of one fan to say good luck, Malevo!