On a scale of one through 10, just how dangerous is Chilliwack resident Matt Johnson’s underwater escape trick?
As he told Britain’s Got Talent’s judge Simon Cowell: “100.”
And that was no joke. When Johnson competed on the show earlier this year, he wasn’t the only one holding his breath as he struggled to complete his three-step escape. And when it was all over, he revealed that it was the closest he’s ever come to death.
This explosive escape has Johnson handcuffed and locked into a cube filled with water. It’s only after picking his handcuffs that can he attempt to find the correct key for the lock – of which there is one mixed in with 20 incorrect others. All 21 keys float in the water below him as he struggles with his hands outside the cube.
As he first steps into the box, head judge Cowell is heard to utter “This is crazy.”
He tells the judges to get him out if he passes out, and begins to float. After more two minutes underwater struggling to find this needle in the haystack, Johnson finally unlocks the last lock and opened the lid to an uproarious cheer and standing ovation from the audience and the judges.
For his efforts, which left some audience members wiping away tears of relief, Matt received an enthusiastic vote of four yeses to put him through to the reveals round. That’s where he will discover if he has made the Live Semi-Finals which will take place at the end of May. Johnson is representing Canada, and Chilliwack, as the shows only escapologist.
He has been performing and perfecting his craft in the art of illusion for more than 20 years – and his newest journey into escapology looks set to be the biggest and most profound career move yet.
Britain’s Got Talent is not the illusionist’s first foray into television. In the summer of 2017 he appeared on Penn & Teller Fool Us! and he also starred in Wizard Wars (SyFy), a show that sees the worlds top magicians battling head to head.
It is Matt’s experience in traveling the globe and performing in wildly different capacities, all the time discovering and developing his craft, which makes his performances completely unique and utterly captivating.
In a video interview with a UK television show, Johnson revealed that he dove into the routine as a way to experience what his brother deals with. His brother has a condition called tuberous sclerosis, which causes him to have irregular seizures.
“He will go a day sometimes, sometimes a week, but you don’t know when he’s going to drop, so he can’t drive or work,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying in that interview. “Sometimes if he has two or three in a row, I wanted as a brother to understand what he goes through, and that’s how it started.”