Christian Stoinev and his adorable dog Percy take back the stage with this incredible hand-balancing act!
Act: Hand Balancer & Dog Tricks Act
Got Talent history: (America’s Got Talent) AGT: S2 – Participant / AGT: S9 – Top 12 Finalist / (Das Supertalent) DS: S13 – Winner
Christian Atayde Stoinev was an acrobat act from Season 2 of America’s Got Talent. He was eliminated in the Vegas Round. He returned in Season 9 as Christian Stoinev, seven years later. He was eliminated again in the Finals. Christian returned for a third time to AGT: The Champions 2.
Christian Atayde Stoinev was born on December 4, 1991 in the American “Circus City” of Sarasota, Florida. His father, Ivan Stoinev, is a Bulgarian circus acrobat who left his country at age thirteen to perform at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus with a teeterboard troupe. His mother, Maritza Atayde, a former aerialist, belongs to the Atayde family, owners of Mexico’s oldest, largest, and most celebrated circus, Circo Atayde Hermanos.
Christian made his circus debut at age six, standing on the shoulders of his father in a free-ladder balancing act. His parents taught him all basic circus disciplines, and over time, Christian became a proficient unicyclist and hand balancer. He spent a large part of his childhood at the Big Apple Circus, where his father was Performance Director, and his mother worked in an administrative capacity.
In 2001, Christian joined the Big Apple Circus resident company as an acrobat, in the Circus’s production of Big Top Doo Wop. He also occasionally worked in other circuses, notably with Circo Atayde in the summer of 2003, in an acrobatic break dance act, Los Primos. He premiered his hand-balancing act, for which he was coached by Miguel Morales, in 2004—and he competed the following year in the Festival Première Rampe in Monte Carlo, where he received a Bronze Medal and Prince Rainier’s Special Award.
Christian Atayde Stoinev’s audition in Episode 203 consisted of a hand-balancing routine, at one point having his chihuahua on his feet as he was balancing. Afterwards, the dog also performed a stunt by running on its two front legs. Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne, and David Hasselhoff all voted “Yes,” sending Christian to the Vegas Round.
Christian Atayde Stoinev was sorted into the “Variety” category during the Vegas Round. His performance in Episode 205 consisted of a hand-balancing routine. Christian’s dog could not be part of the act this time since it got injured a few days earlier. His audition was not strong enough for the judges to send him to the Top 35 shortlist, eliminating him from the competition along with The Great Throwdini.
In 2008, Christian participated in the International Circus Festival-Città di Latina, in Italy—where he was awarded the Bolshoi Circus’s Special Award, presented to him by Leonid Kostiuk. Christian has appeared in many television shows around the world and, among other venues, he has performed for Britney Spears’s Circus tour at Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, N.Y.
In 2010, Christian enrolled in the Illinois State University at Normal, IL, where he was also a member of their Gamma Phi Circus program, to study Broadcasting. Upon graduation, he resumed his career as a hand balancer. 2
Christian Stoinev was a member of Gamma Phi Circus, an aerial group that was briefly shown in an act montage in Season 7.
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