Rubik’s cubes? Check. Mystical juggling? Check. Being shot in the clavicle with a flaming arrow? Check!
Tonight’s episode of America’s Got Talent was crazy, but everything paled in comparison for a stunt gone so, so wrong. It was a reminder that, despite all the negative stereotypes that surround reality television, some shows are all too real — and not always in a good way.
Tonight, daredevil Ryan Stock (who has previously impressed with his ability to swallow drills, and stick random objects up his nose) decided to up the ante with the help of the love of his life, AmberLynn. Unfortunately, their act didn’t exactly go as planned. AmberLynn was charged with the tough task of shooting a target with a flaming crossbow. And the target wasn’t behind Stock — it was in his mouth! Prior to the performance, she asked him for forgiveness just in case she killed him. It was a joke, but it hit a little too close to home when she ultimately missed the target and hit her sweetheart instead.
Thankfully, Stock will be just fine. As terrifying as the injury appeared, it looked like his pride was even more hurt than his body. He insisted he was OK and was then rushed off with an EMT. He’ll live to see another day, but I assume that the same cannot be said for his act. Too bad, because as difficult as his stunts were to watch, they were some of the most unique and original the show has seen.
Reality shows often feel scripted or, at least, manipulated. Criticism regarding the “reality” of reality television is nothing new, with skeptics claiming that even talent competitions pull all kinds of shenanigans. But when somebody gets shot in the collarbone, you have to admit that there is some element of reality on America’s Got Talent. Viewers watch ridiculously dangerous acts like Stock and AmberLynn’s all the time, assuming that they’re safer than they look and that nothing terrible will happen on network television. When somebody does get hurt, it’s a disturbing reminder that, on a show like America’s Got Talent, anything can happen.