'America's Got Talent' features daring stunt by Baltimore escape artist Spencer Horsman
Baltimore magician and escape artist Spencer Horsman on last… (NBC )
May 30, 2012|By Sam Sessa | Baltimore Sun reporter
Baltimore magician (and self-proclaimed "world's youngest escape artist") Spencer Horsman slipped out of a straightjacket and avoided almost certain death on last night's episode of "America's Got Talent."
Horsman, a 26-year-old who runs the South Baltimore bar Illusions with his father, had "America's Got Talent" host Nick Cannon strap him into a straight-jacket. He then hung upside down, between a set of metal jaws with nasty looking spikes, held open by a rope. The rope was set afire, and Horsman had a minute and 20 seconds to escape before the jaws clamped shut on him.
"Do not try this at home," Cannon warned as Horsman's escape began. "This is crazy."
With the clock ticking and Horsman squirming in his straight-jacket, the judges cringed, recoiled and squealed, afraid they'd have a mess to clean up in a few moments. Horsman escaped in the nick of time.
"I'm a big fan of Houdini and escape artists, and I think that America is mesmerized by this kind of stunt and has been for centuries," said judge Howie Mandel.
Fellow judge Howard Stern was also impressed, but more reserved in his praise.
"I won't be satisfied until you kill yourself, you know that," Stern deadpanned.
The dangers of being an escape artist are all too real, Horsman said, and referenced the time in 2010 when he fell on his face during a routine in Illusions and needed 16 stitches between his eyes.
Horsman promised "larger escapes, more dangerous escapes" and the three judges bought in, agreeing unanimously to send him to the next round in Las Vegas. Horsman mouthed the words "thank you," gave a thumbs-up and jogged off stage.
"We'll see you practically kill yourself in Vegas," Cannon said with a laugh.