'America's Got Talent': Married trapeze artists explain 'terrifying' stunt gone wrong (Exclusive)
America's Got Talent is always full of shocks and surprises, but a performance on Tuesday night left the audience in fear when it ended abruptly.
During the first night of the season's Judge Cuts round, acrobatic couple Mary and Tyce of Duo Transcend took the stage for a death-defying trapeze act. While everything seemed to be going as planned, all that changed in a second when Mary slipped out of Tyce's hands, falling to the ground and forcing NBC to cut to a commercial.
ET exclusively spoke with the couple via Skype on Wednesday, where they explained exactly what went wrong.
"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," said Mary, who has been married to Tyce for six years. "In practice, everything went fine, and then during the audition, the worst possible thing happened."
Tyce explained that he suffers from a progressive eye disease called keratoconus. During one point of the performance, when the incident occurred, he was actually blindfolded, and said that he and Mary were simply going off music and verbal cues.
"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."
"It was just a mix of things," Mary added. "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. 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."
Tyce said he started "freaking out" when he could feel Mary slipping through his hands.
"You can see in the video, she was already gone, but I have this, like, last effort to still try and get her," he explained. "And that feeling is just terrifying. I mean, it was miserable. I felt like it lasted so long. It was really uncomfortable."
Luckily, through extensive trapeze training, Mary was trained to fall -- but that doesn't make a mistake like this one any less terrifying.
"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."
"The feeling is just gut-wrenching," he added. "It still makes me sick, when I think about it."
Mary chimed in, telling ET that when she realized she had slipped through his grip, her first thought was to tuck her head so she didn't break her neck.
"I'm thinking, 'Can I get in that position fast enough so that I don't get hurt?'" she recalled. "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."
"I completely blacked out," she continued. "When I hit and realized I was OK, first thing I wanted to do was get up and let everybody else know I was OK. My mom was there, our [2-year-old] son was there and I knew that Tyce was probably really worried about me. I just wanted to show that I was OK."
"After the AGT audition, we had to wait awhile because we are backstage, the medics came to check on me to make sure I was OK," she added. "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."
America's Got Talent returns for its second night of Judge Cuts next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.