Escape Artist Matt Johnson Nearly Saws Himself in Half on ‘America’s Got Talent’


Simon Cowell rarely shows any kind of emotion when it comes to judging talent shows. There has been one act that scared Cowell so bad he popped up out of his chair on the Britain’s Got Talent judging panel. Escape artist Matt Johnson is ready to reintroduce himself to Cowell. This time, he is competing on Season 16 of America’s Got Talent.

Matt Johnson Returns to the Talent Show Circuit on ‘America’s Got Talent’

Matt is best known for scaring the living daylights out of everyone during his 2018 Britain’s Got Talent audition. He locked himself in an underwater tank and had to sort through a batch of keys to unlock himself. Cowell was very skeptical that the act would go wrong in some way. Matt assured the judges that he would be freed from the tank after a minute and a half.

After two minutes underwater, Cowell stood up out of his seat and looked like he was going to stop the act for fear that Matt would drown. After everyone was holding their breath for what felt like an eternity, Matt finally was able to unlock the tank and emerge from the water. Alesha Dixon looked like she was about to cry from how stressful watching the act was.

In the Semi-Finals, Matt attempted yet another death-defying trick. Matt wore a box on his head that was filled with water. He had to remove a pair of handcuffs without being able to see the locks. He then had to unlock himself from the metal vest that was around his body.

After two minutes and 20 seconds of holding his breath underwater, Matt finally released himself from the restraints. Amanda Holden was visibly freaked out by the whole act. He was eliminated after this performance but it sure left its mark as one of the most dangerous acts on the Britain’s Got Talent stage. He competed on Tú Sí Que Vales that same year performing the same stunt.

Matt Also Competed on ‘The World’s Best’

Matt has 30 years of experience performing magic, illusions, and his famous escape acts. He was featured on The World’s Best, appearing in the same episode as the TNT Boys. He made it to the Battle Rounds where he was put up against daredevil Li Wei. Matt was outscored and was eliminated from the competition. Host James Corden invited him onto The Late Late Show with James Corden.

In 2019, Matt joined the touring magic production The Illusionists in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Panama. He got to perform in the same show as unforgettable America’s Got Talent danger act, Aaron Crow. Season 13 America’s Got Talent winner Shin Lim has also appeared on the tour multiple times throughout his career.

Matt’s Saw Act on ‘America’s Got Talent’ Has the Judge Freaking Out

Now, Matt is on Season 16 of America’s Got Talent with an even more terrifying act. This is the very first time Matt has ever attempted this trick aside from the practice run he had before his audition. Matt was strapped in a straight jacket and had his ankles bound. He hung upside down on a metal contraption. A clear box was filling with water as two saws were set to come barreling towards him once the water got to a certain point. He had to free himself before the saws came crashing down to cut him.

If he did not execute the trick properly, Matt would be sawed in half. It felt like Matt was strapped upside down for an eternity as the judges bit their nails waiting for him to free himself. Finally, at the last second, he was able to get out of the straight jacket return to his feet. He got four yes’s from the judges after this terrifying act.


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is the Talent Guru here at Talent Recap. Her work has been featured at The Blast. Samantha graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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