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Britain's Got Talent Viewers Call Out 'Fake' Escapologist Stunt

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Britain's Got Talent Viewers Call Out 'Fake' Escapologist Stunt

Some Britain’s Got Talent viewers are convinced that a stunt on last night’s show was a ‘fix’, having taken to social media to speculate on giveaway signs. 

In the episode yesterday (Saturday 23 April), we saw a number of acts perform for judges Simon Cowell, David Walliams, Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden before the show concluded with a final audition from Italian escape artist Andrew Basso. 

Basso, 36, gave a bit of background to the well-known water stunt, which is called the Chinese Water Torture Cell and was made famous by Harry Houdini. 

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

“This is the act that Harry Houdini said was the most dangerous and difficult, and represented the peak of his creation,” Basso told the judges. 

“Being upside down throws your senses. The blood rushes to the head, and it’s challenging to stay calm and lower your heart rate when there is fear and adrenaline."

He invited Holden up onto the stage to cuff both of his hands, saying: “I will escape in two minutes. Any longer, and I may not come out alive. I’m risking my life.” 

Basso explained how his ankles would also be restrained, saying the only thing that could help him was a single paperclip. 

Addressing his fellow judges, Cowell said: “This is dangerous, by the way.” 

The performer was then hoisted up by his ankles and lowered into the tank of water, where he was able to use the paperclip to unlock the handcuffs around his wrists. 

He then tried to wriggle his ankles free, managing to release them both within the two-minute window. 

However, he then had to use the paperclip to release the lock that had been holding his feet in place – as the clock continued to tick. 

Credit: ITV
Credit: ITV

At one point, presenter Dec Donnelly turned to the camera from the side of stage and said: “He's run out of music.” 

As the audience watched on in horror, Holden stood up from her chair with a concerned look, while Dixon turned to Walliams and asked: “Is this part of the act?” 

Eventually, Basso managed to get himself free after just over three minutes inside the tank. 

The audience broke into relieved applause, but on social media not everyone was as impressed. 

One person posted: "If that wasn’t staged, the crew would have rushed on to get him out… it’s embarrassing how fake this show is #bgt #BritainsGotTalent." 

Someone else said: “God how gullible can people get?? He was faking struggling for the wow factor. You really think they would air a pre recorded program of someone drowning? Jesus Christ.” 

A third added: "Nearly as much of a fix as last week. Surely this will be the last year we put up with this crap. #BGT." 

Others suggested Basso may have been able to hold his breath for longer than he originally said, with one writing: "He knows quite well how long he can hold is breath for as something like that takes a lot of practice. The music stopping was just for dramatics #bgt #brotherincest." 

Sharing a screenshot of the box as Basso jumped out, one argued that ‘the padlocks were not opened’, implying that we had been misled to believe he had to unlock the locks all around the glass case, when actually they were not part of the act.

But someone else thought they had missed the point, saying: “It’s got flaps on the top that were padlocked? That’s what he unlocked. Come on.” 

However, many viewers absolutely loved the act, with one saying it was ‘incredible’. 

Another added: “Great performance. Great entertainment.” 

A third wrote: “The man in the water, my anxiety is through the roof OMG.” 

A spokesperson for Britain's Got Talent told LADbible: "Andrew’s act was designed to excite and entertain audiences based on escapology practices that have been around for over 100 years.

"To claim his act is fake is damaging and unnecessary. It’s not true to say BGT is set up and we’ve constantly repeated that the show is not fixed."

Featured Image Credit: ITV

Topics: TV and Film, Britain's Got Talent

Jess Hardiman
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