Nerdy act sees him through

Mr Jonathan Goh and his Chinese yo-yo act.

It does not help that his talent is what he calls the "Chinese yo-yo".

But before he is written off as a weirdo, he lets on that it is all part of the act.

Mr Goh, 18, is a rugby-playing jock and is in Secondary 5 at Montfort Secondary School because his skipping of classes had caught up with him.

When he auditioned at the local leg of Asia's Got Talent on Saturday, he took pains to "nerdify" himself with huge thick-rimmed glasses, suspenders and shirt tucked into tight shorts.

Mr Goh, who was portraying a geek playing with his yo-yo after class, were among some acts who brought an element of surprise to the audition.

About 600 hopefuls packed the MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands for a chance to appear on one of the biggest talent shows on TV.

Asia's Got Talent will premiere on AXN early next year across 20 locations in Asia.

Mr Goh's dream is to join Canadian circus arts act Cirque du Soleil.

He told The New Paper: "I joined Asia's Got Talent hoping to change how people see circus arts. Many think it's only about clowning, which is really only one part of it.

"I've been practising circus arts for three years and various aspects of it such as fire spinning, diablo (Chinese yo-yo) manipulation and juggling. I enjoy them all."

FIRE SPINNERS

His fascination with the circus began when he saw fire spinners at Sentosa. Then 11 years old, he was taught how to do it on the spot.

The experience inspired him to join local circus arts group Bornfire three years ago.

But spending all his time honing his skills affected his studies.

Mr Goh said: "Bornfire told me that I would be suspended from group activities if I didn't focus on my studies. Their support and concern for me made me determined to complete my studies."

He added that he had rehashed his nerd get-up from his Teacher's Day performance this year.

"Everyone thought it was hilarious, so I thought I'd do it for this audition," he said.

His parents, who got divorced when he was 10, support his dream after they saw his natural flair for circus arts.

Mr Goh, who made it through to the second round, said: "Sometimes, when my teachers get angry at me, they say things like, 'Why don't you just join the circus?'. I'd be, like, 'Okay, lah'."

Other unique acts

DANCE TRILOGY

These 12 cuties caught everyone's attention with their tap-dancing routine.

The seven- to 12-year-olds from local dance school Dance Trilogy showed why they won the Under-12 category at Australia's Dance Quest in June and took second prize at the Asia Pacific Dance Competition last month.

Their tap dance, performed to the music of Derek Corbett's Go Big Daddy Swing, was on the money and they sailed into the second round.

Said Dance Trilogy owner Lim Ju Li, 46: "These girls dance three to four times a week and are very fit because of their commitment to dance.

"They are looking forward to performing modern ballet and jazz dance for the upcoming rounds."

THE SCIENCE OF MAGIC

Mr Duan Jia Fei, a Singapore permanent resident who came from China a decade ago, is one unorthodox part-time physics and chemistry tutor.

The 19-year-old Ngee Ann Polytechnic engineering science student uses "magic" to explain science concepts to his students.

So he tried to impart his knowledge of density, by showing that oil and water do not mix, at his audition.

Declining to reveal how his three red cards and three black cards did not mix although they were randomly stacked together, Mr Duan said: "I think I didn't get through because my act may not be as entertaining as others."

INDIAN DANCE LOVER

Yuhua Primary School student Lim Jiow Teng fell in love with Indian culture after she saw Indian folk dances two years ago.

The 12-year-old was radiant as she performed the Indian folk dance Kalasala.

Although she did not make it to the second round, the aspiring singer-actress said: "I love this Indian folk dance because I get to wear ankle bells and I can hear the beat of the music from the sounds made by the bells.

"I love the costume and make-up, especially the eyeliner, which makes my eyes look much bigger.

"And I love roti prata!"


This article was first published on Sep 29, 2014.
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