Darcy Oake promised a dangerous stunt for the Britain’s Got Talent finale and kept his word.
The Winnipeg born illusionist/magician ratcheted up the tension Saturday during the live televised finals in London Saturday by tying himself in a straightjacket while hanging upside down suspended under a bear trap hanging from the ceiling by ropes. The ropes would be set on fire and Oake said it took 53 seconds for the ropes to burn, which would in turn release the trap and snap it shut, so he had to free himself in 52 seconds or be cut to pieces by the 16 serrated blades.
With a giant digital clock ticking behind him, Oake succeeded in freeing himself, undoing his leg straps and falling to the stage floor just as the rope burned through and snapped the trap shut.
He performed the same escape in Winnipeg in 2012 during two shows at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.
The 26-year-old received a standing ovation and the judges were effusive in their praise.
"It was so dramatic. I’ve never seen anything like it. You could win this on that," said David Walliams, a sentiment echoed by the other three judges on the ITV talent competition.
"I was mesmerized. My heart was racing," said Amanda Holden.
Even the notoriously snarky Simon Cowell had nothing but positive comments for Oake, saying his three performances were unique, of the highest production quality and the fact he was Canadian made the competition more interesting.
"I think we are seeing the birth of a star here. I really do," he said.
Unfortunately, Oake didn’t garner enough votes from the viewing audience and he failed to make the top three. The winner of Britain’s Got Talent proved to be the safe choice: popera group Collabro.