As with its British counterpart, America’s Got Talent regularly provides viewers with moments to gush and marvel over.
But fans of the show were left gasping in shock during Tuesday night’s installment, as a woman suddenly plummeted to the ground as her husband and partner lost grip of her after their impressive trapeze act went horribly wrong mid-performance.
And in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Utah-based acrobatic couple Mary and Tyce Nielsen of Duo Transcend explained exactly went wrong during their death-defying act.
Scary: During Tuesday’s installment, Mary Nielsen plummeted to the ground as her husband and partner, Tyce, lost grip of her after their impressive trapeze act
Explanation: The Utah-based acrobatic couple Mary and Tyce Nielsen of Duo Transcend described what wrong during their death-defying act
Mix it up: Mary said that she and Tyce wanted to step up their act and worked in fire and him being blindfolded
‘Well, we wanted to step up our act, so we added some new elements that we’ve never worked with before with the fire and a blindfold,’ Mary said.
‘In practice, everything went fine, and then during the audition, the worst possible thing happened,’ she added.
It turns out Tyce, who was blindfolded during the point in the performance when the incident happened, has a progressive eye condition called keratoconus and said that he and Mary were using music and verbal cues to communicate.
‘We have a music cue that I’m waiting for, but I also give Mary a verbal cue,’ he said. ‘What happens is, when she falls, when she lets go, I have to place my hands directly in the right spot to catch her feet at the right time or I miss her.’
Mary, who has been married to Tyce for six years, added that it was a ‘mix of things’ when it came to their botched performance but that all the noise from the crowd definitely played a huge factor.
Terrible: The two practiced but during the actual performance, Mary said the ‘worst possible thing happened’
Losing grip: Mary was seen falling after her blindfolded spouse Tyce, lost grip of her in the grand finale
‘The people were screaming so loud, which, they were supporting us. It was nice that they were clapping for us, but I couldn’t hear Tyce,’ she said.
‘The trapeze got a little bit of swing, the fire, so we both were sweatier than usual. But even if you took that away, there’s still the possibility that that could happen. So, it’s just something that happened.’
Fortunately, Mary has had extensive trapeze training, which taught her the best way to fall (head tucked so she doesn’t end up with a broken neck) but that still didn’t mean Tyce wasn’t ‘freaking out’ when she slipped through his fingers.
‘When we learned trapeze, we go through the years of learning it. We’ve fallen so many times learning these skills,’ Tyce said. ‘Not to say that I wasn’t worried, because I definitely was, but I also know that she’s trained and knows how to go to the ground.’
‘You can see in the video, she was already gone, but I have this, like, last effort to still try and get her,’ he said. ‘And that feeling is just terrifying. I mean, it was miserable. I felt like it lasted so long. It was really uncomfortable.’
Judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel were also uncomfortable and watched in horror Tyce lost his grip and Mary fell from feet above the ground during the first night of the season’s Judge Cuts round.
Scared Spice: Mel B and her fellow America’s Got Talent judges were left shocked when a woman fell to the ground during the grand finale of a trapeze performance on Tuesday night
All is well: However, viewers were left relieved when Mary sprung to her feet just seconds later
Star judges: Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell are among the judges on the talent show’s panel
Always the comedian: After initially looking horrified, Howie Mandel cracked a joke about it
The shock extended to Mary’s mother, who held the couple’s two-year-old son, Jaxx, close while she sat in the audience, before covering her own face.
But while the celebrity panel – and studio audience – were visibly and audibly horrified by the mishap, Mary luckily landed safely, leaving her in pain but largely uninjured, which always the case.
‘I’m thinking, “Can I get in that position fast enough so that I don’t get hurt?'” she said. ‘Because even when you’re trained to fall, sometimes you don’t get to the position you need to fast enough and you can get seriously hurt. I’ve had injuries before from that.’
Mary added that she blacked out during the ordeal but once she hit the floor and realized she was okay, the first thing she wanted to do was get up and let everybody else know she was alright.
Family: Mary’s anguished mother sat with the couple’s two-year-old son Jaxx in the audience
Shocking moment: As he hung upside down, Tyce was meant to catch his wife by her ankle
Horror: Members of the live audience were left shocked as they noticed what had transpired
‘My mom was there, our [two-year-old] son was there and I knew that Tyce was probably really worried about me. I just wanted to show that I was okay,’ she said.
‘When [our son] saw us, he was happy to see us and my mom was really relieved. I try not to be so emotional, but when my son gets involved, that’s when I just can’t control it,’ she added.
But despite the trauma, the pair still wanted to attempt the final portion of their act again but British-born Mel insisted: ‘No, it’s fine! It’s fine.’
‘This is not America’s Got Perfection, it’s America’s Got Talent, nobody can do this,’ assured guest judge Ken Jeong, who starred in raucous comedy The Hangover.
And the rest of the judges agreed because despite the accident, the daredevil couple still managed to impress the judges and progressed to the live shows of the competition.
Mary, who hugged Tyce, who described the experience as ‘gut-wrenching,’ in an emotional embrace after their performance, was so surprised to here the praise from the judges that she burst into tears as her husband held tight around her body.
Back at it: After the performance, Tyce was lowered into the ground and the pair even wanted to try the stunt again
Love: After the performance, Mary and Tyce hugged and kissed in an emotional embrace
‘We work on the road a lot and we have a two-year-old son,’ the wife explained. ‘We have to leave him at home most of the time, so the dream is to be in Vegas so that our family can be together.’
And guest judge Ken took things a step further by awarding the power of the Golden Buzzer, guaranteeing them a place in the quarter finals.
‘You almost got hurt very badly and your first thought was, “Let me do that again!” Only on America’s Got Talent does that happen,’ noted TV personality Howie.
Howie also took the opportunity to crack a joke at twice-divorced Mel B’s expense, when he said to her: ‘You’ve had a guy drop you.’
‘Just for the record, I dropped them,’ replied Mel, without missing a beat. America’s Got Talent returns for its second night of Judge Cuts next Tuesday at 8pm EST on NBC.