New Kids on the Block’s Jonathan Knight Walks Off Stage During NYC Show
(Rob Kim, Getty Images)
The show, an iHeartRadio event that live-streamed on Yahoo! Music, was a huge promotional stop for the band, which had just released its new album, "10," on Tuesday. But halfway through the performance, Knight walked offstage and didn't return, despite encouragement from his band mates and a ton of support from the crowd (consisting mostly of middle-aged women).
You can see Knight starting to get a bit anxious at the 26-minute mark in this YouTube video. "Jordan, pull your brother in," Danny Wood says at 26:20. At 26:47, Knight laughs when he's about to sing a line from the band's new ballad, "Survive You." "He gets very emotional," Joey McIntyre says next. At 27:30, Knight seems to be so embarrassed that he leaves the stage after not being able to begin his verse.
The group then goes into a minute of the song without Knight on stage. "Jon will be back," his brother Jordan then says. "Because I’m going to sing this next song to him, and he will be back." The band then goes into its hit "Please Don't Go Girl," but by that time Knight is gone -- and he never returns back on stage for the rest of the show.
The crowd was hugely supportive though, even chanting his name a couple of times -- "Jonny! Jonny! Jonny!" McIntyre later joked, "They have a locksmith coming, to get Jon out of the bathroom."
After the show, Knight tweeted a very simple message to his 150,000 followers:
— Jonathan Knight (@JonathanRKnight) April 5, 2013
Before the show, he had tweeted:
— Jonathan Knight (@JonathanRKnight) April 4, 2013
Knight has spoken about his battles with anxiety and panic attacks in the past. In 2001, he sat down alongside his brother Jordan with Oprah Winfrey to talk about the topic. "I just always had this feeling inside of me of being nervous and afraid of situations," he told Winfrey. "The hardest thing for me was really just doing interviews, doing talk shows. … You just get shaky, your heart starts pounding, you get dry mouth … a little bit like I have right now." He went on to explain how the stress is what led to him eventually quitting the group. He rejoined the group when members reunited in 2008.