Just hearing about a trapeze act gone awry is enough to make the most grounded person nervous. So first things first: Go ahead and watch the video above, because everyone walked away just fine.
Tyce Nielsen and Mary Wolfe-Nielsen, an acrobatic married couple who make up Duo Transcend, performed daring trapeze tricks involving fire and blindfolds on Tuesday’s edition of “America’s Got Talent.” But just as they were about to wrap things up, Wolfe-Nielsen slipped through Nielsen’s grip and landed with a thud on the stage.
Cut to the shocked and screaming judges and audience members. The couple’s 2-year-old son and his grandmother were watching, too.
Wolfe-Nielsen then got up from what looked like a thick mat, waved and smiled, indicating she was fine. Nielsen removed his blindfold and joined her on the stage for a kiss. “We would like to try the blindfold trick one more time,” Wolfe-Nielsen said.
“This isn’t ‘America’s Got Perfection,’ it’s called, ‘America’s Got Talent,'” said guest judge Ken Jeong. “It’s okay, it’s okay.”
“I don’t think there’s ever been a singer on any of our competitions who’s been note-perfect. It still doesn’t make them not amazing. It makes them human,” judge Simon Cowell added. “The consequences on this are slightly worse than slightly falling off key, where you nearly broke your neck.”
Then, to Nielsen, Cowell said, “and the fact that you’re legally blind makes this incredible.”
The judges ended voting to advance Duo Transcend to the next round of competition, performed live.
Mishaps happen from time to time on the reality TV competition show and its international iterations. In 2016, a daredevil couple performed a series of stunts before AmberLynn Walker, using a crossbow, accidentally shot a flaming arrow at Ryan Stock’s throat. He had just swallowed a lamp — which had a bull’s eye on its base that stuck out his mouth — but the arrow missed its mark, landed on his throat and caused a short burst of flames. According to the couple, Walker’s aim was accurate but the arrow had a broken notch.
“We had a serious mishap tonight,” Stock tweeted. “A very unfortunate mechanical failure but I am very fortunate to walk away from it.”
In 2015, magician Tran Tan Phat accidentally swallowed acid on the semifinals of “Vietnam’s Got Talent” after he misidentified the dangerous substance. He had to be taken to the hospital with burns to his lips and tongue, the Associated Press reported.
And in 2011, Primitivo Montoya attempted a cartwheel during what he had dubbed a “new-age robot dance.” He fell right off the stage, and a medic rushed out to make sure he was okay.
Montoya assured judge Howie Mandel he was okay: “My hands hurt a little bit.”
“This is not your thing,” Mandel told him. “This is dangerous.”
He, unsurprisingly, did not advance. “I just got all nervous,” Montoya told the Denver Post later. “I was too tight. I lost my place on the stage with the judges right there.”