One of the standout performances from the final Judge Cuts episode of AGT came from dancer and contortionist Marina Mazepa. Her creepy pole dancing routine gave judge Simon Cowell a scare, and earned her a place in the live shows.
Who is this talented young woman, and what was she doing before she joined AGT? Read on to find out more about her, and check out some behind-the-scenes footage from her time on the show.
Who Is Marina Mazepa?
Marina is a 22-year-old dancer originally from Ukraine. At the age of 15, she joined the Kiev Circus Academy, despite her family’s objections to her career as a dancer. She moved to Los Angeles last year, and said in an Instagram post that she didn’t even speak English at the time.
Marina also does modeling, acting, and martial arts. Before she was on AGT, she appeared on several other television shows, in the United States and abroad. In 2016, she made it to third place on So You Think You Can Dance in Ukraine, and in 2017 she made it to the Top 5 on France’s Got Talent. She also auditioned for the U.S. SYTYCD last year.
Marina Freaks Out Simon Cowell
During judge cuts, Marina danced on a pole while wearing a frightening headpiece. At one point, she crawled over to the judges table, where she perched for a moment to stare at Simon.
“You’re terrifying, Marina, but in kind of a brilliant way,” Simon told her during his critique. “What I love about you is, we don’t have a clue what is going to happen.” He added that she “tried to bite me or something,” calling the act “very cool” and “very current.”
Marina’s Behind-The-Scenes Footage
Marina has been sharing behind-the-scenes videos from her time on AGT over on her Instagram account. That includes several clips of the rehearsal process and performance for her most recent appearance on Judge Cuts.
She explained that she only had “one rehearsal day to put the choreography together and try the stage.” Marina also posted footage from her actual performance, which shows that the song she originally danced to (“Castle” by Halsey) was different from the one that aired.
We can’t wait to see what Marina does when the live shows start.