Judges criticize America’s Got Talent’s response after act catches fire

The sixth season of America’s Got Talent has its top 10, and we’re incredibly close to having a final round that does not include any mediocre singers. That group does not include Gymkana, the tumbling group that was eliminated from the show, perhaps because the flaming ring its tumblers were jumping through fell onto one of them during their performance Tuesday.

As you can see in the video of that performance, one person caught the flaming ring, moving it out of position and causing it to fall on the next person. He stayed on the floor, the flaming ring lying on his leg. He looks like he’s going to stand up, but then stays on the floor as the two people holding the ring lift it off him. In this clip of the full performance, host Nick Cannon repeatedly asks the performer if he’s okay.

After the ring falls, people are briefly visible running in from the side of the stage, presumably stagehands ready to assist, but two of the show’s judges are criticizing the response. Howie Mandel told The New York Post, “He was lying there, and I didn’t see anybody with a fire extinguisher. In no way do I ever want to see someone get hurt. It was just scary!”

Sharon Osbourne said, “We have got to be more on our toes,” adding that help “took too long.”

A spokesperson explained why the performer was uninjured: “The performers were wearing suits treated with a flame-retardant spray, and no injuries ensued.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.