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'America's Got Talent Extreme' fans praise 'remarkable' Aaron Wheelz

'America's Got Talent Extreme' judge Nicki Bella hugs contestant Aaron Wheelz after awarding him her Golden Buzzer.
Wheelz' determination secured him a route to the final after Nicki Bella used her Golden Buzzer on last night's show. (Image credit: Eliza Morse/NBC)

America's Got Talent Extreme viewers were treated to a gripping season premiere last night (Feb. 21), and they were thrilled by Aaron Wheelz's (aka Aaron Fotheringham) death-defying stunt at the end of the episode.

The 29-year-old wheelchair motocross athlete impressed everyone with his grit and determination during the episode. 

Growing up with Spina Bifida, he was an extreme sports fan who became inspired by athletes like America's Got Talent Extreme judge Travis Pastrana. As he explained, one day he just decided to try dropping into the skatepark whilst in his wheelchair, and he's been adapting and performing stunts and tricks from other extreme sports ever since. 

For his audition (which you can watch below), Wheelz was going to race down and jump off a huge ramp, attempting to land a front flip on the way down. Sadly, his first attempt at the trick didn't go his way. Instead of sticking the landing, Wheelz hit the ground on his front. Thankfully, he got right back up and signaled to everyone that he was okay. 

He certainly wasn't ready to throw in the towel, either! With the help of two AGT crew members, Wheelz got set up at the top of the huge ramp for another run at his stunt. This time, he executed everything perfectly, soared through the air, and landed the flip as the audience cheered. 

All the judges were moved by Wheelz's performance, and when it came time to vote, Nicki Bella said she couldn't wait to see him in the finals and sent him through to the finals of America's Got Talent Extreme with her Golden Buzzer! 

Plenty of fans who tuned into the season premiere of America's Got Talent Extreme were just as moved by his determination as the judges were! Lots of viewers headed over to social media to share both how thrilled they were with his success and to say how they felt seeing him not give up on his stunt.

One wrote: "Wheelz was a very inspirational golden buzzer and very much deserved a excellent choice. I hope he wins this, but much talent left", and plenty more sang his praises for being so fearless and closing out the show in style.

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America's Got Talent Extreme continues on NBC on Monday, Feb. 28 at 8 pm ET. You can also stream AGT Extreme right now on Peacock.

Martin Shore
Martin Shore

Martin is a Staff Writer with WhatToWatch.com, where he produces a variety of articles focused on the latest and greatest films and TV shows. 

Some of his favorite shows are What We Do In The Shadows, Bridgerton, Gangs of London, The Witcher, Doctor Who, and Ghosts. When he’s not watching TV or at the movies, Martin’s probably still in front of a screen playing the latest video games, reading, or watching the NFL.