TORONTO — Canadian extreme acrobat Gregory Roe was put through to the next round of America’s Got Talent (AGT) in an episode that aired Tuesday night.
“I love to jump off really high things,” the 24-year-old from the Toronto area told viewers.
The stunt, taped at the end of May at the Pomona Fairplex near Los Angeles, involved lifting Roe 55 metres into the air by crane so he could jump — doing “the first ever triple front flip with a double twist” — into a giant airbag on the ground.
He told host Nick Cannon it was important that he landed on flat on his back. “If I land any other way, I’m a dead man.”
Toronto-born AGT judge Howie Mandel was immediately impressed. “Just going up is insane,” he said.
“I can’t sit down.”
Roe jumped and landed safely, to cheers from the crowd.
He also got the approval of all four judges.
“Greg, you’ve got some big balls,” declared Heidi Klum.
“You have a talent that is rare,” said Howard Stern. “There’s not a lot of people who can do this from that height. You were fabulous.”
Melanie Brown commended Roe for “the skill and the precision that you must have to have.”
Mandel added: “What you do is amazingly dangerous. I know it takes an incredible amount of skill but it’s scary. I was scared to death.”
Roe advances to the next round in the competition. He told Global News he wants to make the most of the opportunity.
“I auditioned because I wanted to show the world what I could do,” said Roe, “and because it has never been done before.”
The winner of AGT receives $1 million paid as a financial annuity over 40 years (an estimated $25,000 a year) or a one-time payment of less than half.
In 2013, Canadian comic John Wing made it as far as the semi-finals. B.C. magician Murray Sawchuck competed on Season 5 of AGT.
Born Vladimir Demidov in Moscow, Roe was adopted at age five by a family from Brampton, Ont.. At an early age, he developed a passion for gymnastics and honed his skills at Gymnastics Mississauga and Bramalea Gymnastics.
In his teens, Roe switched to the sport of trampoline, earning the title of National Open Champion in 2008 and placing third at the Olympic trials in 2012.
After graduating from high school, Roe studied Fitness and Health Promotion at Humber College in Toronto and Kinesiology at the University of Guelph-Humber.
Roe runs GRT Events, based in Georgetown, Ont.