Nick Jonas Reflects on the Viral Video That Sent Him to Therapy

One of the downsides to living in the internet age is that a single embarrassing moment can live on forever digitally. That kind of constant reminder of your own gaffes can take a toll on a person’s mental health—and nobody knows that like Nick Jonas.

The Jonas Brothers recently appeared on the Armchair Expert With Dax Shepard podcast, and Nick reflected on the now-infamous occasion where he performed so badly that it not only went viral, it also sent him directly to his therapist’s office.

In 2016, Jonas was slated to play a duet with Kelsea Ballerini of her song “Peter Pan” at the Academy of Country Music Awards. But it took only seconds for the whole performance to go awry.

51st academy of country music awards rehearsals

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“I come out for my thing. I rehearsed it a million times. I’m feeling really confident about it, not even really thinking about it like it’s a thing that’s going to be problematic,” Jonas told Shepard. “I started off; it was fine… And as I walked towards her, I just went completely blank, and I hit a wrong note and blacked out.”

Despite immediately being able to tell that the note was wrong, Jonas said he “couldn’t stop” and so for the following excruciating 12 seconds, his playing was, in his own words, “tragic.”

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Publicly, he made light of the viral video, jokingly blaming a “brain fart” for his mistake. But he understands now that it “shaped the pressure” he placed on himself to “be perfect and to always be on.”

“I was rushed to a car and rushed to a plane right after it,” he continued. “And I looked at my manager and said, ‘I think that was bad’… In retrospect, I can kind of laugh about how big I thought it was. But it did travel more than I wish it would have, and it did cause me to go to therapy.”

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Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV.

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