It came down to two inherently dangerous acts upping the danger. But only one could be crowned champion of “America’s Got Talent: Extreme.”
Following an intense showdown Monday night between Alfredo Silva’s Cage Riders and extreme wheelchair athlete Aaron “Wheelz” Fotheringham, it was the cage riders who claimed the $500,000 prize.
Here’s a breakdown of the finale performances.
Alfredo Silva’s Cage Riders: Finale performance
Alfredo Silva isn’t a stranger to dangerous stunts on “America’s Got Talent.” He previously appeared on Season 11 of “AGT” performing his knife-throwing act, reaching the semifinals before being eliminated, Hollywood Life reported.
Silva and his cage riders perform in “the cage of death,” a metal sphere where the motorbike riders constantly spin in the same direction. During the audition round for “AGT: Extreme,” three riders rode in the cage that is 14 feet in diameter.
For the finale, Silva turned things up a notch and had four riders in the cage at once.
- “Every single person in there was doing something that was pushing the limits,” “AGT: Extreme” judge and X Games legend Travis Pastrana said. “It’s rare that I see something that’s so in my wheelhouse. I was on the edge of my seat.”
- “Tonight you went to 11,” Simon Cowell added, noting that he rated the group’s audition a 10 out of 10. “I cannot believe there is anything more you could have done tonight to give yourself a chance of winning.”
Aaron ‘Wheelz’ Fotheringham: Finale performance
Fotheringham made the judges emotional and nervous during his audition for “AGT: Extreme,” which saw him land a front flip off a 50-foot ramp.
His appearance during the finale was no different.
For the $500,000 prize, Fotheringham gave himself two chances to land a back flip off of the same ramp — a much harder maneuver because it is easier to over-rotate or overspin, Pastrana noted during the episode.
During the episode, Fotheringham said practice for the stunt had been a bit rough. When it was showtime, he over-rotated and crashed into the ramp after his first attempt, USA Today reported. With his wife cheering him on, the 29-year-old athlete was still optimistic heading into his second attempt. But he was unable to make the landing.
Fotheringham was visibly disappointed, but the judges had nothing but praise for him.
- “You’re safe, that’s the most important thing,” Cowell said. “It’s unbelievable what you do, and no one else could do it. So much respect for you, honestly.”
“You are a true inspiration,” Pastrana added. “You have inspired so many kids to never give up, never quit. I’m excited and proud to have watched your effort today.”
Alfredo Silva’s Cage Riders win ‘AGT: Extreme’
At the end of Monday night’s episode, “AGT: Extreme” revealed that Alfredo Silva’s Cage Riders received the most votes from fans and crowned the act the inaugural champion of the show.
Silva, whose grandfather and father were cage-riders who performed dangerous motorbike stunts, said he was proud to carry on the tradition.
- “It’s about honor, representing my family,” he said, according to USA Today. “I want to make them proud.”
Fotheringham, meanwhile, said that a major goal in coming on the show was to help bring more awareness to wheelchair sports. Even though the athlete didn’t win the big prize, WWE star and “AGT: Extreme” judge Nikki Bella — who awarded Fotheringham the show’s coveted golden buzzer during his audition — said he was the definition of a champion.
- ”Being up high and just seeing how extreme this act is, already the height of it but also the ramp he was dropping in on wasn’t very wide,” she told People. “When he crashed that first time and he was like, ‘No I really want to do it again,’ that was like to me, what champions are made of.”
“America’s Got Talent” returns this summer.