Categories: Entertainment

Fire artist makes semifinals

A former St. Albert entertainer is living a fantasy. Canada’s Got Talent just announced Marissa Bailey Puff, a fire poi artist, is a semifinalist in the nation’s largest talent search.

Despite the intensity and pressure, Puff says she feels “surprising calm.

“I feel strange about being calm. I’m sure when I start to rehearse, it will kick in. But at the moment I’m just so excited to be here.”

The Edmonton resident just flew to Toronto for the semifinal reveal. The next few weeks will be packed with gruelling rehearsals and sessions with image consultants polishing her style.

“I’m very lucky everybody knows what they’re doing. I’m drawing from their experience and my show will be made better because of it.

As artistic director of Vibe Tribe, a multi-faceted dance troupe that incorporates fire, Puff was thrilled to audition last September at the Mayfield Hotel.

“I was expecting feedback. I wasn’t expecting to go to Toronto. It’s so surreal. It’s strange to see yourself on TV and talk to celebrity judges.”

The three celebrity judges, – comedian Martin Short, soprano Measha Bruggergosman and composer/songwriter Stephan Moccio – auditioned approximately 14,000 hopefuls. They then slashed the numbers to 200. From there, they whittled the acts to 39 semifinalists.

Traditional singers, dancers, comedians, impressionists and magicians tried out. But the more out-there acts ranged from competitive eaters, chainsaw jugglers and sword fighters to knife throwers, bartenders and contortionists.

Amongst the semifinalists the competition is stiff, however Puff has developed a positive and resilient approach.

“It’s a talent competition and everyone is so good, but we’re all so different. There’s no one like me and I feel as if I’m competing against myself. I hope it will win the heart of Canada.”

The 11-week, 22-episode show hit its stride last Wednesday after judges deliberated and selected 36 acts to advance to the semifinals: six acts per week over six weeks.

When the six acts take centre stage each week, it’s their opportunity to show host Dina Pugliese, the judges, the studio audience and all of Canada what makes them the nation’s top performer. Two semifinalists will advance each week, one selected by judges and one by viewers.

A special presentation with live performances airs Monday at 8 p.m. On Tuesday at 8 p.m. the results are revealed.

The winner is crowned on May 14 and will receive $100,000, a Nissan GTR worth $105,000, a Las Vegas show and an appearance at City TV’s New Year’s Eve Bash.

“Please tune in and watch the show. I hope you like what I’ve worked on and vote for me – please.”

You can follow Canada’s Got Talent on Twitter @ CGTCitytv and use the hashtag#CGT.

Anna Borowiecki: Anna Borowiecki joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2000. She reports on local people and events in the arts, entertainment and food industry. She also writes general news and features.