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As a pet parent, Alesha Dixon had an immediate reaction to her Golden Buzzer-winning act.
The America’s Got Talent: The Champions judge, 41, tells PEOPLE hat she was drawn to shadow dance group The Silhouettes after they portrayed a love story between man and dog.
“I’ve got four dogs at home, so they had me straight away,” Dixon says, laughing.
“I felt so happy that I got to push [the Golden Buzzer] for them because they’re such inspirational young people up there doing something incredible and creative. I know they’re going to inspire so many people,” the mom of two raves.
“For me, with the Golden Buzzer, I always say you can never predict what you’re going to do. It’s a feeling, it’s a gut instinct, it’s in the moment. My heart just felt so warm when I was watching them,” she adds.
“They appeal to so many people because it’s just family-friendly. They tell a story so beautifully that they just tap into that emotion. It’s something that everyone can appreciate no matter how old you are or where you’re from,” Dixon shares. “When you’re clever and you tap into stories that we can all identify with, then immediately you’re rooting for that act. When I’m watching an act that I love, I almost forget that I’m judging, and I’m just there enjoying the show. I’m embracing it and I’m in the moment.”
The Silhouettes finished in second place on season 6 of AGT.
In fact, creative director and founder Lynne Waggoner-Patton tells PEOPLE she was initially nervous about Dixon’s response to their act before the U.K. star advanced them to the finals with her Golden Buzzer.
“I was a little concerned about Alesha because the year after us [on AGT] there was a shadow company on Britain’s Got Talent that won. I believe she saw them because that was her first year in 2012,” she says. “I was a little nervous because she’s from the U.K. and they won BGT, so I was afraid she was going to be a little more critical.”
On top of the nerves, Waggoner-Patton wasn’t expecting to move on in the competition. “For us, we weren’t really anticipating or expecting to move on just because we know the caliber of talent on this stage. What we would like to do is enjoy every moment,” she explains.
“We consider Champions the Olympics of the arts. It’s pretty shocking to us that we were asked,” she says. “They could’ve picked any shadow company, and we were the first shadow company that was ever on. This is a rookie cast, they’ve never been on AGT. It’s like 2011 all over again, but this is more important because this is Champions.”
While the Silhouettes advance to the finals, Sandou Trio Russian Bar, who competed on season 6 of AGT, and will compete in the semi-finals. Though judges Dixon, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel were all divided on who should continue on in the competition, Simon Cowell had the final say and chose 7-year-old comedian and Australia’s Got Talent alumnus JJ Pantano to go to the next round.
America’s Got Talent: The Champions airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.