America's Got Talent
What an honor it was to be invited to audition on America's Got Talent the first three seasons the show aired! Finally in 2008 I was honored to be the first sword swallower ever to perform on America's Got Talent in Season 3. I was told repeatedly by other performers, "A sword swallower will never make it on America's Got Talent!" but I felt I needed to at least give it a try. Finally on January 24, 2008 I auditioned at the Nashville TN auditions, was accepted and went on as one of 70 auditions to the live Atlanta Regional auditions (out of 28,000 auditions in the Southeast), and then out of those 70 auditions, three of us went on to the Las Vegas Quarter Finals for 10 days. where I was blessed to end up making it into the Top 50!
I was eventually eliminated in the Las Vegas Quarter Finals, but I was invited back on as an Alternate Wild Card. A few months later, I was invited out to the live Finals in Hollywood, where i was eliminated again. Over all, I was featued in 7 episodes in Season 3! What an honor and a blessing!
After several other invitations, eight years later in 2016, I was invited back to be on America's Got Talent Season 11 in Pasadena, California, then on to Italy's version Tu Si Que Vales in Rome in October 2016 and France's Got Talent in Paris in 2017. Here's what happened there...
America's Got Talent Pasadena (2016):
Swallow Car Axle and Pull a Car
On his return back to America's Got Talent audition in Season 11 2016, Dan decided to push the envelope and step it up a notch. At the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Dan started by swallowing a 30 inch long sword with no hands drop for a standing ovation! Dan then topped that by swallowing an 8.5 lb car axle, leaving the judges and audience speechless!
For his finale, Dan did something he had never done before on national TV - Dan swallowed a sword attached to two straps and pulled a 1974 Triumph Spitfire convertible steered by host Nick Cannon a total of 15 feet using only the sword, his mouth and stomach, and a lot of prayers and stamina!
Dan was awarded TWO STANDING OVATIONS, and 4 YES VOTES from Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell who said he loved the act! This video has gone on to receive over 35 MILLION views combined!
America's Got Talent Atlanta (2008)
Most Dangerous Act!
This America's Got Talent Season 3 episode is actually a compilation of interviews from both the Nashville audtion and the Atlanta Regional audition.
Dan was awarded TWO STANDING OVATIONS, and 2 YES VOTES from Sharon Osbourne and Pers Morgan who said he loved the act!
This video has gone on to receive over 21 Million views.
America's Got Talent Las Vegas (2008)
Flaming Sword and Curved Sword
On the Las Vegas Semi-FInals of America's Got Talent, Dan decided to push the envelope and step it up a notch. At the Mirage Casino Las Vegas on May 10, 2008, Dan swallowed a 30 inch long sword with blade engulfed in flames, then a curved sword that required him to bend his body to the right to accommodate the sword.
For his finale, Dan swallowed a sword attached to a whip, then juggled six juggling clubs with a juggling partner until his partner whipped the sword from his throat! Here's the first part of that episode. For some reason, America's Got Talent edited out the whipping out of the sword finale while juggling, as NBC found it a bit too extreme for their audiences. What do YOU think?
France's Got Talent Paris, France (2017)
In 2017, Dan was invited to perform on La France a un Incroyable Talent in Paris.
Watch as judge Hélène Ségara pulls a sword from Dan's throat!
Besides pulling host David Ginola in a car for this audition, Dan also had to learn to speak French!
This episode aired on French channel M6 on November 16, 2017.
WHY Does Dan do it?
Doing the Impossible, Cutting through Fear
For everyone who constantly asks "WHY does he DO it?", the answer is found in Dan's first TED talk at TEDxMaastricht Netherlands.
In his first of several TED talks, Dan describes his long journey from wimp to world record holder, coward to courageous, extreme fears to extreme feats, loser to Ig Nobel Prize winner, and quitter to Finalist on America's Got Talent.
Check out the surprise ending with the audience's overwhelming response, and see why this TED Talk has received over 1 MILLION views and is now the #12 Most Translated TED Talk out of over 200,000 TED talks!