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"I've done this show for 10 or 11 years, and this has never happened before," Cowell added.
Fellow judge Heidi Klum told ET that she was "very worried" for Ryan, and has been concerned about the stunt team's dangerous performances for some time.
"To be honest, I never really wanted them to be here in the live shows," Klum admitted. "Not because I don't like them as people, they're risking their lives and that's what they're doing, but I just don't ever want these kind of things to happen."
When the arrow misfire happened, it was up to judge Howie Mandel to give feedback first, but the comedian admitted that the experience was pretty horrifying.
"It was like slow motion, watching that flaming arrow hit him in the neck," Mandel recalled. "I thought I saw something tragic and terrible."
"My stomach dropped," he added. "I'm okay on live TV, I'm okay in front of an audience, but I have no desire to see somebody get hurt."
In hindsight, Mandel was able to look on the bright side of the near-death crossbow shooting, explaining, "The good news is, if it would have impaled him, if it would have broken the skin, it was flaming, so he would have been cauterized."
ET also spoke with some members of the audience, who said the incident was "jaw-dropping."
"My heart stopped," Elizabeth Gephardt recounted. "I just hoped he was OK, but it just goes to show how much they put into the show and how much they really pour out their heart and soul to do the best that they can."
Another audience member, Sharon Efron, said that, at first, it seemed like the accident might have been part of their routine, "but then you realized in the look on [AmberLynn's] face, she was just like, 'Oh my goodness, what just happened?'"
As for the judge's reactions to Ryan and AmberLynn's performance, audience member Grant Gephardt explained, "It was hard for them to judge the act because they wanted him to go get medical attention. It was crazy."
After witnessing this bizarre calamity first-hand, it seems that the fans' love for the show hasn't diminished.