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Charlene Chua
Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

Showbiz

Nerdy act sees him through

The New Paper | Charlene Chua | Wednesday, Oct 1, 2014

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'."

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