Fans of NBC's hit competition show America's Got Talent were first introduced to British-born stuntman Jonathan Goodwin in 2020 during Season 15. Jonathan, who's also a daredevil and artist, has been buried alive, burned at the stake, hung by his toes from helicopters, covered in 200,000 bees, and more. The 41-year-old actually competed and was a finalist on Britain's Got Talent in 2019 before appearing on the American series, in which he made it all the way to the semifinal round.
Making it almost to the final round on AGT is what led him to receive an invitation to appear on America's Got Talent: Extreme. Unfortunately, Jonathan was forced to leave the competition early after he was seriously injured during a rehearsal. Keep reading to find out what happened to Jonathan on set.
What happened to Jonathan Goodwin on the set of 'America's Got Talent: Extreme'?
On Oct. 14, 2021, Jonathan was rehearsing his daredevil stunt for the AGT spinoff and was injured so severely that he was rushed to the hospital. A spokesperson for the show told TVLine, "During a rehearsal last evening for America’s Got Talent: Extreme, an accident occurred in which escape artist Jonathan Goodwin was injured while performing his act.”
They also shared, “He was responsive and was immediately taken to the hospital where he is continuing to receive medical care. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family as we await further updates on his condition.” According to TMZ, sources stated that Jonathan was rehearsing a stunt for the new series and was suspended 70 feet in the air while donning a straight jacket and hanging by his feet from a wire.
Also, there were cars suspended on both sides of him that were swinging back and forth. For his stunt, Jonathan was supposed to free himself from his restraints and then fall onto a mattress and avoid getting crushed by the two cars swinging in the air. Unfortunately, something went terribly wrong, and Jonathan was reportedly crushed by the vehicles, causing them to explode. Reportedly, he then fell to the ground and hit his head, and it appeared to be so bad that those on the set thought he was dead.
'America's Got Talent' halted production temporarily in the wake of Jonathan's accident.
Due to this terrible circumstance and Jonathan's continued treatment at the hospital, production on America's Got Talent was temporarily halted. On Oct. 17, 2021, a spokesperson for the show told Today, "Our thoughts and prayers remain with Jonathan Goodwin and his family as he continues to recover from his accident on Thursday."
They added, "In order to focus on the wellbeing of our crew, we will be temporarily pausing production on America’s Got Talent: Extreme and will resume the last few days of filming at a later date. The health and safety of our cast and crew continue to be our priority."
Jonathan Goodwin is paralyzed following his 'America's Got Talent' accident.
On Feb. 20, 2022, Jonathan provided a health update for his fans via Instagram. "Four months later… finally out of hospital," he captioned a photo of himself and his fiancée Amanda Abbington. "My birthday today… can’t think of a better way to spend it than with my love."
During a May 2, 2022, episode of the Out to Lunch with Jay Rayner podcast, Jonathan's wife Amanda Abbington offered another update. "He's paralyzed now, he's in a wheelchair," she said of Jonathan. "Unless there's a kind of stem cell surgery or that thing that Elon Musk is designing with the little chip, he'll be like that forever."
Jonathan is known for performing death-defying stunts. During the semi-finals of Season 15 on America’s Got Talent, Jonathan rode a zipline that was 60 feet in the air while holding on with his teeth. If that wasn’t daring enough, the ropes were on fire while he was stuck in the middle of the zipline until he was able to undo a padlock, releasing his hands which were bound behind his back.