13YO Indian contortionist scares judges on America’s Got Talent


Arshiya Sharma performed a series of mind-blowing contortionist acts with bone-creaking sound effects. Photos: YouTube screengrab

America’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell was expecting a Disney-like performance, but he got something straight out of the classic horror film The Exorcist (1973) instead.

Arshiya Sharma, a 13-year-old girl from India, was one of the contestants featured in the Season 19 premiere of the American reality talent show, which aired on May 28.

She shocked British music mogul Cowell and the other celebrity judges – Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel – with a contortionist performance that had some members of the audiences covering their mouths and shouting in disbelief.

Arshiya turned up on stage initially sporting hair ribbons and a shy smile.

“I am a dancer, but I don’t want to be like others, I want to be different,” she said. “So I tried doing gymnastics and added some flexibility moves into my dance to be different.”

The teen then said she needed some time to prepare for her performance and left the stage.

Shortly after, crew members rolled out a creepy-looking dollhouse. A few moments later, Arshiya re-emerged from behind it in tattered clothes, covered in fake blood and wearing white contact lenses.

She then performed a series of mind-blowing contortionist acts with bone-creaking sound effects. She twisted and turned her body forwards and backwards at different angles, and did a back flip before landing flat on her chest.

“It’s like The Exorcist,” Cowell commented, referring to the gravity-defying moves by the possessed girl, played by American actress Linda Blair, in the 1973 film.

The judges and live audience gave Arshiya a standing ovation after her act.

“When you said you were going to leave to change, I thought you were going to come back with a pretty dress,” said German-American supermodel Klum.

“I wondered sometimes, when you were in the middle of it, ‘There’s no way she’s going to be able to detangle,’” added Colombian-American actress Vergara. “But you did every time and got into a worse position after.”

“It was just so unexpected and frightening and brilliant at the same time. The chihuahua turned into a werewolf,” Cowell said, with the entire panel voting for Arshiya to proceed to the next round.

As if teasing a preview of what is to come, the girl told the show’s host Terry Crews backstage: “I want to give you a shock again in the next audition.” – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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