Watch above: Winnipeg’s Darcy Oake not only amazed the judges on the popular TV show “Britain’s Got Talent,” he got the attention of people around the world. Lauren McNabb has his story.
TORONTO — Canadian magician Darcy Oake wowed judges and viewers of Britain’s Got Talent with an act that was decidedly for the birds.
The professional illusionist, who hails from Winnipeg, made several doves appear out of thin air and then magically replaced them with a female assistant.
Oake auditioned an episode of BGT that aired April 19.
Judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams were impressed enough to vote him through to the next round of competition. Cowell said Oake was the best magician in BGT‘s eight seasons.
WATCH: Darcy Oake’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent
Oake told Global News on Monday he’ll find out next month if he’ll appear on the live shows.
“If it goes well, it can change the game,” he said. “I don’t want to put the cart before the horse.”
On the BGT stage Oake said: “When I was a kid I had hopes and dreams of becoming a doctor but my parents insisted that I become a magician.”
The 26-year-old said he caught the magic bug from his father, Hockey Night in Canada announcer Scott Oake.
“When I was a kid my dad was messing around with cards. I picked one, he pulled it out and it was my card,” he recalled.
“I experienced that feeling of ‘how did you do that?’ and I wanted to do that to other people.”
Oake is no amateur, though. According to his website, he has performed across Canada as well as in New York City, Las Vegas and at the famed Magic Castle in Hollywood. He has also won several awards and appeared on TV programs around the world.
An estimated 12 million people watched Oake’s performance on BGT and a video of his appearance has gone viral with more than 4 million views to date.
“It was hard to really grasp it at the time, but now that it’s come out and kind of gone viral — it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s insane. I still don’t really know what to … I mean, it’s awesome. It makes me feel amazing, but yeah, it’s just so overwhelming, you know.”
Oake told Global News he’s just happy to be doing magic. “I’m grateful to be working doing what I love to do,” he said. “As long as I can constantly keep working, I’m happy.”
Many BGT viewers, though, are not happy about the number of “foreigners” competing on the show. Twitter lit up with complaints that the show welcomed not only Oake but performers from Germany, Spain, Greece, the U.S. and France.
Last season’s BGT winner was an act from Hungary.
- with files from Lara Schroeder and Eric Szeto
Canadian comedian John Wing made it to the semi-finals of America’s Got Talent last season and B.C. native Murray Sawchuck appeared on season five of AGT.
© Shaw Media, 2014