'America's Got Talent' Quarterfinals: Aerialist Alan Silva's death-defying act leaves viewers gasping for breath

The performer decided to conquer his fears by performing the same stunt that had left him with a broken neck previously

                            'America's Got Talent' Quarterfinals: Aerialist Alan Silva's death-defying act leaves viewers gasping for breath
Alan Silva (NBC)

'America's Got Talent' kicked off with another live quarterfinal round on Tuesday (August 25) night, as the stage was set for another 11 acts who all wanted to prove that they could be the nation's next great entertainer. As the show's animated host Terry Crews observed, the contestants were all performing on the same Universal Studios set that had previously hosted the likes of Bette Davis, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and Will Smith. Now it was up to the voting public to decide who they wanted to eliminate as there were only five semifinal slots up for grabs for the 11 competitors performing tonight. 

Terry Crews (NBC)

Simon Cowell was once again unavailable since the infamously candid judge was still recuperating from surgery after suffering a horrific bike accident. The show and judges wished him a speedy recovery and said that he was always in their hearts and thoughts because they missed him. That meant that it was now down to the remaining three judges on the jury panel, with Howie Mandel commenting that he was part of a gorgeous man sandwich, as he took his seat in between Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum. 

Terry Crews (L) and Alan Silva (NBC)

The penultimate contestant on tonight's episode was the Brazilian aerialist Alan Silva, a small man with a big heart that more than made up for his diminutive stature. Silva noted that he had often been bullied and ridiculed because of his height, but when he was soaring up high in the air during his gravity-defying routine, he felt invincible and had a true sense of freedom. However, even though he was on top of the world during his sublime performances, that beauty often came with dangerous risks, since he performed without a safety net. Silva admitted that he had been rushed to hospital previously when he had accidentally slipped off his hoisted sheets and broken his neck. It took him a year to recover from that devastating fall, but now he was ready to conquer his fear by performing the same move tonight that had previously nearly cost him his life. As the aerialist explained, he had been overcoming challenges his entire life, and he could either continue to be afraid or rise to the occasion, quite literally. "Tonight, I cannot let fear stop me," he declared. 


Performing with two massive white sheets that were hoisted up by wires, Silva embarked on his remarkable routine. He soared through the air like a superhero, at times holding on with just one hand while he performed spins and spills that threatened to drop him on the floor beneath him in an instant. However, the nimble performer always managed to save himself from falling at the very last second, at times contorting his body to just hold on with his legs. At one point, he ascended with a series of dizzying 360 spins, and then held on to the sheet with one hand behind his back. As a final showstopper, he performed the same stunt that has broken his neck, this time doing it above a bed of spikes that brought a palpable sense of danger to his routine. However, this time he held on in grand style for a big finish that thrilled the awestruck judges.

Alan Silva (NBC)

Klum noted that he radiated joy every time he performed, and said that his routine was beautiful and a lot of fun. Meanwhile, Vergara observed that while it was breathtaking and exciting, there was always a nervous energy present in case things didn't go as planned. She also said that she couldn't wait to see what he had in store for the semifinal rounds. Howie Mandel also praised his bravery, since they were performing on an outdoor set on the Universal Studios lot, and the combination of wind, rain, and his previous injury meant that Silva had really outdone himself.

On social media, people were also thrilled by his skills, with one viewer saying it was amazing and awesome. 


Another supporter said that his death-defying stunts had left him with his heart in his throat. 


On the basis of this showing, Alan Silva definitely deserves to go through to the semifinals, so viewers can now vote for him up to ten times each, until voting closes tomorrow on Wednesday morning at 7 am ET. Join us for the results show that same day, August 26, at 8 pm ET on the NBC network to see who made it through to the next round of 'America's Got Talent'. 

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