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Miguel’s Fan-Kicking Stage Dive refers to R&B singer Miguel Jontel Pimentel’s on-stage stunt which resulted in the singer accidentally kicking a fan in the head during his performance at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards in May 2013.
On May 19th, 2013, Pimentel attempted to jump across to the other side of the stage and accidentally kicked a fan in the head during a performance of the song “Adorn” (shown below). Pimentel continued to finish the set before returning back stage to apologize to the fan Khyati Shah, who was not seriously injured.
Immediately after the incident aired, Vine user Zahbee uploaded a short clip of Pimentel jumping over the audience (shown below), which received over 4,200 retweets in the following 24 hours.
Twitter users immediately began joking about Miguel’s failed jump, the highlights of which were compiled into articles on the news sites News One and The Huffington Post. According to the Twitter analytics service Topsy, the volume of tweets containing the keyword “miguel” peaked at 9:38 p.m. (ET) with over 602,000 mentions.
At 10:23 p.m. (ET), Pimentel tweeted that he “got caught up in the moment” and confirmed that the woman had not been injured.
got caught up in the moment, thank goodness Khyati is okay— Miguel (@MiguelUnlimited) May 20, 2013
Also on May 19th, YouTuber Stylz910 uploaded a video featuring several replays of the kick paired with his humorous commentary (shown below). Within 24 hours, the video received upwards of 320,000 views and 1,800 comments.
On May 20th, Redditor thatguy1977 submitted an animated GIF of Miguel’s stage dive to the /r/WTF subreddit, where it received over 10,400 up votes and 1,000 comments within the first 19 hours. Two hours later, Redditor FieldOfBirds posted a similar GIF to the /r/cringepics subreddit, gaining more than 1,500 up votes and 100 comments in the next 17 hours. Also on May 20th, E Online published a compilation of notable image macros and photoshopped images from Twitter and Instagram, many of which drew references to power moves in professional wrestling as well as the snowclone expression “bitches be like”.
Rumor of Lawsuit
On May 29th, E! Online published an exclusive article reporting that Khyati Shah, the audience member who was accidentally kicked in the head by Miguel, has been experiencing cognitive difficulties and may be considering legal action. According to her lawyer Vip Bhola, his client’s personal ordeal in the aftermath of the incident has led to suspicion of a neurological head injury and they’re waiting to hear back from a neurologist to determine the next course of action.
In the following days, the story was picked up by several celebrity news and gossip sites like TMZ, Entertainment Weekly, BET and SPIN among others. On June 4th, TMZ reported that the singer was personally advised against leaping over the crowd by the show’s executive producer Don Mischer but he attempted the stunt anyway, citing unnamed sources connected to the production of the ceremony.
On the following day, however, Miguel’s publicist Dvora Englefield issued a statement completely denying the assertion:
“The reports claiming that Miguel was warned by producers not to jump are completely false. A number of attempts were made to reach Khyati and her lawyer after the performance to see how she was doing and whether any assistance could be offered. Khyati’s well being has been and continues to be of the utmost concern to Miguel.”
That same day, TMZ published a follow-up article reporting that Miguel practiced his leaping stunt twice during rehearsals and producers never gave him any warning, yet again citing unnamed sources close to the singer.