Over its 13 years on the airwaves, Britain’s Got Talent hasn’t seen a magician quite like Lioz Shem Tov. Mainly because he’s not a magician at all.
Taking to the stage on Saturday’s show (23rd May), the self-proclaimed mentalist delivered a hilarious comedy act to judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams – pranking one of them in the process.
The act saw the performer pull Holden onto stage, making the judge choose from two boxes (keeping one at arm’s length), before pulling out a plastic bag from inside. Then, with the two standing back-to-back, Shem Tov told his new assistant to count slowly to ten before facing the audience.
Unknown to Holden, the Israeli act used this time to much down a banana, popping the peel in the bag as both turned.
Not only did Shem Tov receive four yeses from the panel, but Walliams also declared the act “comedy genius”, while Dixon praised his “stage presence”.
Eagle-eyed listeners may have noticed Simon Cowell commenting mid-act he’d seen Shem Tov before in “America”. That’s because the comedy magician previously appeared on the US version of BGT, America’s Got Talent, in 2018.
Rather than performing his banana trick there, Shem Tov used his “telekinesis” skills to blow bubbles and make them disappear with his hands, before opening a bin lid with his mind/the attached pedal.
Interestingly, Cowell wasn’t such a fan of this act two years ago. In fact, while fellow judges Mel B and Howie Mandel applauded Shem Tov, Cowell pressed his red buzzer, voting to stop the performance after only a minute. Although Cowell retracted this view by the end of the act, Shem Tov was cut from the competition before the live shows.
The magician also made to the grand final of Australia’s Got Talent in 2019, finishing in the top 10.
Plus, in the same year, he performed in the French version of the franchise (La France a un Incroyable Talent), but failed to reach the live shows.
In 2018, he also competed in Israel’s Got Talent, reaching the semi-final.
So, will Shem Tov reach the final stages of Britain’s Got Talent 2020? If he does, we might have to wait a while: as recently indicated by Amanda Holden, ITV is planning to move the live shows to “early Autumn” due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
It may sound like bad news, but this delay means Shem Tov now has months to perfect his bin lifting technique for viewers. Stay tuned.
Britain’s Got Talent continues 8pm Saturday on ITV. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV guide.