Reality television is a popular genre. The talent show variants allow contestants to showcase unique skills, ranging from musical talents to comedy. Daredevils and escape artists are regularly featured on these shows, particularly those who are willing to lay their lives on the line for their art. And that’s exactly what one contestant did.
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Matt Johnson appeared on the hit show Britain’s Got Talent, performing a life-threatening escape artist act.
His head was locked inside of a box filled with water, and his body and hands were secured using chains and cuffs.
Paramedics are typically standing by during these stunts, as the potential that Johnson would drown on live television was certainly real.
The “safe” time for the stunt was, according to a report by Fox News, the one minute 45-second mark. When Johnson failed to escape in that time, professionals off stage had to intervene.
Around the two-minute point, Johnson signaled that he was in trouble, beckoning for someone to come and with a metal pole and free him.
All four judges appeared horrified during the stunt, and Simon Cowell called Johnson a “lunatic” for attempting it.
“This is the perfect act for anyone who wants to watch someone drown,” said David Walliams. “I was really worried for you when the paramedic came on.”
“Oh my God, I really hate it, I hold my breath with you for the whole thing,” said Amanda Holden, who jumped out of her seat as Johnson was released. “I basically nearly passed out myself.”
“It was exciting to watch,” she added. “You’re very brave, and I’m glad you’re still alive.”
Despite how exciting Johnson’s act was, he was not selected to continue to the final, a decision that left many viewers furious since he put his life on the line.
One stated, “How did Matt Johnson not get through? He actually brought excitement and danger to this pathetic show for once, but the sad British public ruins it.”
“I’m sorry but Matt Johnson absolutely smashed it,” said another, “was one of my faves from the beginning and should defo have been in the final.”