There are a few things making America hold its breath these days, and one of them is the drama-filled cirque act of Duo Transcend.
Duo Transcend, whose last harrowing appearance on America’s Got Talent garnered more viewers than the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, is back on the hit NBC TV show at 8 p.m. tonight.
Starring Huntington native Mary Ellen Wolfe-Nielsen and her husband Tyce Nielsen, Duo Transcend will be competing in the live Hollywood rounds of AGT, which air Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 21-22, with the remaining 36 contestants.
The couple, who have been in Hollywood in rehearsals for the past week and who just celebrated their seventh anniversary, will be attempting a death-defying aerial stunt in which Tyce Nielsen will again be blindfolded.
During their last performance on AGT, Nielsen, who was blindfolded, failed to grab Wolfe-Nielsen’s ankles, sending her crashing head-first to the ground. Unhurt, she asked the judges if they could attempt the stunt again. That fierce determination helped judges Simon Cowell, Mel B, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Ken Jeong vote to move the duo onto the next stage of the talent competition just for attempting such a stunt.
“You almost got hurt very badly and your first thought was ‘Can I do that again?‘” Mandel said. “And only on ‘America’s Got Talent’ does that happen.”
Wolfe-Nielsen is the daughter of former Huntington mayor and former Cabell County Sheriff Kim Wolfe and his wife, regional actress Debbie Wolfe. Debbie, who spent the summer in Colorado, performing with their daughter Angela’s theater company, Peak to Peak Players, has been in Hollywood this past week babysitting for Jaxx, the Nielsen’s 2-year-old son. Kim flew out to California Monday and will also be attending the Tuesday show.
The couple currently work for 45 Degrees, a Cirque du Soleil company out of Montreal, and were performing in the European country of Andorra earlier this summer.
During their first round audition for “America’s Got Talent,” the couple immediately drew gasps from the crowd as Nielsen let them know he has poor eyesight and is awaiting surgery. Nielsen has Keratoconus, a disorder in which the cornea, the eye’s curved, transparent outermost layer, becomes thin and changes into a cone shape, resulting in vision distortion.
Wolfe-Nielsen, a former lifeguard and swimming instructor at the Huntington YMCA, told the judges the couple relies on the “feeling and connection between each other” to perform the danger-filled trapeze act.
“America’s Got Talent” airs at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays on NBC. The grand prize is $1 million and a show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Go online at https://www.nbc.com/americas-got-talent for more information on the show and download the app to make it easier to vote.