Updated October 19, 2021 - 2:40 pm
Jonathan Goodwin is able to communicate in text and on Facebook. Even this would have seemed miraculous four days ago.
The man known as “The Daredevil” has informed friends he is recovering, while he is hospitalized in ICU in Atlanta. His prognosis is not yet known. But Goodwin has been responsive in text, though has requested the contents of the messages be private.
A Las Vegas resident and former cast member of “Fantasy” at Luxor, Goodwin was so badly injured Thursday during “America’s Got Talent: Extreme” rehearsals at Atlanta Motor Speedway that medical professionals on the scene thought he might have been killed. Instead, the 41-year-old danger performer is on the road — likely a long road — to recovery.
On Sunday, an AGT spokesperson said the show has temporarily halted production as a result of Goodwin’s accident:
“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Jonathan Goodwin and his family as he continues to recover from his accident on Thursday. In order to focus on the well-being of our crew, we will be temporarily pausing production on ‘America’s Got Talent: Extreme’ and will resume the last few days of filming at a later date. The health and safety of our cast and crew continue to be our priority.”
Goodwin was badly injured while performing a stunt in which he was reportedly suspended from 70 feet while wearing a straitjacket, with two cars suspended on either side. The cars were to swing toward Goodwin as he fought to free himself, and he would fall to an air bag below. The cars then slam into each other.
Instead, Goodwin was caught between the vehicles as they collided and burst into flames. He fell to the ground, missing the bag. Some reports have estimated the distance of his fall at 40 feet.
Goodwin was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Initial reports were he suffered a head injury, severe injuries to his legs and serious lacerations.
Goodwin was a member of “Fantasy” from the show’s relaunch in October through September, when he left the show to join “AGT: Extreme.” He performed a crossbow act, while blindfolded, in the show (his signature line, “You should try doing this blindfolded. You don’t know what you’re missing.”).
Goodwin has been featured in “The Illusionists” production owned by Cirque du Soleil. The show filled with magic-styled and danger acts was to be the featured performance of the 2020 “One Night For One Drop” charity show at Luxor. It has also long been expected that he would perform in residency in Las Vegas. Goodwin also made plans to join the new Cirque du Soleil show at New York-New York’s former Zumanity Theater in January.
Goodwin was an “AGT” semifinalist in 2020.
“AGT: Extreme” was announced this month as the latest offshoot of the “America’s Got Talent” franchise. WWE combatant Nikki Bella, action-sports star Travis Pastrana and series creator Simon Cowell will serve as judges. Terry Crews will be the host.
The franchise is also developing “America’s Got Talent: Live in Vegas” at Luxor, a performance-based show filled with former “AGT” champs and finalists and hosted by comic Preacher Lawson. The residency production opens for previews Oct. 28.
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.