The Balla Brothers debut at the audition in Season 17 of America’s Got Talent was a huge hit. The acrobatic duo act mesmerized the judges and delighted the New York studio audience last Tuesday. At the invitation of the show’s producers, Arnold and Artan Balla traveled from Albania in what promises to be a career-defining moment for the circus athletes.
The stunning balancing act began with the older brother lying on the floor with the roller ball on his back as the younger sibling climbed atop the roller ball and began juggling tennis balls. In the next part, Arnold placed the roller ball on the head and the partner proceeded to climb up and balanced himself while juggling the tennis balls in the air. The renowned celebrities, who are the judges on the AGT panel: Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell, and Heidi Klum, applauded the act enthusiastically sending them to the next round in Las Vegas.
The Balla brothers are circus performers from Albania. In media interviews since Tuesday’s dazzling debut, the younger brother, Artan, has shared that it was his late grandmother who would take him to see acrobatic performances that ignited a spark in him. Both brothers say that a single act takes a long time to practice as they constantly strive to perfect each element and detail of it. For the next round of auditions, the duo said “there will be knives and fire but the rest will be a surprise.”
The Balla Brothers received an invitation from the show’s producers back in 2019 but due to the pandemic plans were put on hold until 2022. The stand-out acrobatic act at AGT brought immediate prominence and media attention. In a matter of days, they have received job offers and contracts which the Ballas are considering carefully. No doubt the exposure from a show of this magnitude is remarkable for the talented acrobats. After years of putting on shows under the National Circus tent in Albania and invites to Europe, the Balla Brothers appreciate the recognition of a skill-based form of performance that requires discipline and hard work. Aside from performing, Arnold works in interior design and Artan is studying law.
“Being the first Albanian performers on AGT is a responsibility we take very seriously,” says Arnold Balla. To that point, the gifted young men explain that, in contrast to clips on social media sites, “the appropriate representation for our country is through art and genuine artistic performances.”
Their official YouTube page has videos and some background information. Since the debut, fans took to America’s Got Talent YouTube clip to praise Balla Brothers. One comment called them “Superhuman.” Another fan expressed admiration by declaring the balancing act “Totally spectacular”. Several others commented on the agility, the power, the time and training, that go into putting together such a gravity defying number. A vast number of messages come from Albanians who, exhilarated by the young men’s success, convey national pride and write words of encouragement.
The next round of auditions takes place in Las Vegas at the end of August or early September. The acrobatic duo from Albania welcome and eagerly seek the support of their compatriots as the show moves in the Western part of the country. The Albanian community beams with pride for the Balla Brothers who have already made their spectacular entry in the reputed long-running televised talent competition.
America will never run out of talent. The significance of the Balla Brothers act is that the Albanian component is prominently part of it now.