Thanks to Deseret News for making us aware of this story.
Imagine trusting someone so completely you would be willing to be hurled through the air on a trapeze so high above the ground you risk serious injury or death if you fall. Oh, and this person you're trusting to catch? They're blindfolded.
For Latter-day Saint couple and trapeze artists Tyce Nielsen and Mary Ellen Wolfe there's no imagination involved in this scenario—this is their life. And last night on America's Got Talent, the two showed just how much trust goes into their gravity-defying routines.
Having admitted before their performance that "we’re going to take the biggest risk we’ve ever taken," the couple, known as Duo Transcend, did not disappoint when Wolfe placed a blindfold over her husband's eyes at the very beginning of the 3-minute routine.
And if hanging upside down by her husband's foot and swinging through the air wasn't terrifying enough, Wolfe and her husband stunned audiences when she stood on Nielsen's shoulders and dropped. The heart-stopping stunt was completed when Nielsen, still blindfolded, catches Wolfe with his feet.
But the biggest surprise definitely came at the end of the routine. Earlier this season, Nielsen accidentally dropped Wolfe during their routine on the show after her ankle slipped through his fingers. And on the finale, after removing his blindfold, Wolfe does what appears to be unthinkable. While holding Nielsen in her arms and hanging upside down from the trapeze, Wolfe lets go, dropping Nielsen to the floor below.
"That was part of the act, I hope,” judge Simon Cowell told the couple afterward. “I was just thinking about an insurance claim. I’ve gotta tell you, I’m not normally a huge fan of this kind of act but you two are in a different level. . . . I have so much respect for what you do. . . . You made the show special.”
Fortunately, the drop was intentional and Nielsen was unharmed. And as the couple talked with the judges afterward, it became apparent that the stunt was also the highlight of the performance.
"I think my favorite part was when you dropped him at the end,” judge Mel B said. “Having said that, I don’t think we actually realize how strong you have to be to do what you do. You make it look easy and seamless and flawless. Again, you stepped it up another level. By far your best performance. It was brilliant.”
Though their routine was as mesmerizing as it was terrifying, the couple share the true source of their success with the judges.
"I trust him, he trusts me," Wolfe said. "We both have to be strong for each other."
Lead image by Trae Patton/NBC, Episodic; retrieved from the Deseret News