AGT: Extreme Stuntman Was Paralyzed After Horrifying On-Set Accident, Shares First Update In Months

america's got talent jonathan goodwin screenshot
(Image credit: NBC)

There are people out there who live for danger, knowing the terrifying risks that can come from doing dangerous stunts, and still going for it anyway without fear. Escapologist Jonathan Goodwin is one of those people, but an accident that occured during a rehearsal on the set of America's Got Talent: Extreme changed his entire life and career path. Now, months after fans were last informed about Goodwin's condition, both the stuntman and his romantic partner have shared updates that sadly confirm the accident left him paralyzed. 

For those unaware, Jonathan Goodwin suffered his tragic accident on the set of America’s Got Talent: Extreme back on October 21st, while rehearsing a performance that involved escaping from a straitjacket while reportedly hanging upside down 70 feet in the air, with a goal of narrowly avoiding a pair of flaming cars meant to slam into each other. The stunt went tragically wrong when the cars were released too early, crushing him and leading to an explosion that caused Goodwin to miss the air mattress he was meant to land on below. 

During her appearance on the podcast Out To Lunch with Jay Rayner, the stuntman’s fiancee (and Sherlock vet) Amanda Abbington spoke candidly about the life-altering accident her partner suffered on that fateful day.

He fell 30 feet and lost a kidney, broke both shoulder blades, shattered both legs. Third-degree burns, broke his spine and severed his spinal cord and nearly died. And then on the operating table, he nearly died again. He's paralyzed now, he's in a wheelchair. 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.

Amanda Abbington concluded the podcast by saying that her fiancee has not complained about his recent paralysis, as he came to accept this was the next stage of his life, despite how challenging it would be. It's possible many stuntmen prepare themselves for this potential outcome every time they perform, but preparing and living with are two different things. In that say, the British actress almost came across as more upset than Goodwin was about the situation, but it's all about perspective. 

With all of this in mind, Amanda Abbington found him to be a true inspiration for maintaining such a positive attitude during this very difficult time. It really is a miracle that Jonathan Goodwin was on death’s door twice during that ordeal, and is still here with us today to talk about it. I cannot even imagine what he must have been feeling when it all happened, and it's good that studio audience members and eventual TV viewers were not made to witness the life-threatening accident as it happened. But for everyone wanting to hear from Goodwin himself about his current situation, he updated everyone on Instagram about the progress he is making as a “roll model,” and being reunited with his furry friend.

Throughout all of his struggles and painful surgeries, at least Goodwin had a loving partner to support him, and a four-legged friend to welcome him back home. 

The first time TV audiences were wowed by Jonathan Goodwin was in 2019 on Britain’s Got Talent, where he impressed viewers with a variety of escape stunts, including being buried alive. A year later, he performed on season 15 of America’s Got Talent where he accomplished a wild crossbow stunt where he dodged crossbow bolts in stress-inducing ways. He ended up making it to the semifinals that season, and was obviously planning to show off more of his skills in the spinoff series America’s Got Talent: Extreme had things not gone horribly wrong.

America’s Got Talent: Extreme suspended its production soon after the incident occurred, with filming resuming a few months later. Four episodes of the series aired, with Golden Buzzer earner Alfredo Silva’s Cage Riders being declared the winner that took home the $500,000 prize. It's unclear if America’s Got Talent: Extreme will return for more episodes as part of a second season, but nothing has been announced yet. 

Here's hoping only good things are ahead for Jonathan Goodwin during the next chapter of his life. While AGT: Extreme is done for right now, the flagship America’s Got Talent's Season 17 will join other big TV premieres when it debuts on May 31st on NBC at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.