I am currently riding the crest of a wonderful wave. After going 1-0 down in the series, I managed to claw it back to 1-1 with Mexico and 2-1 with Italy. I needed to keep the momentum going and was pretty confident with a trip to Argentina on the horizon.
To be totally honest, the only thing I knew about Argentina was that my friend once went on a steak tour of the country and managed to contract gout. I had a strange feeling I would like this place.
I certainly wasn't disappointed as the first person I went off to meet was an Argentinian cowboy called Martin Tatta. If that isn't something to get excited about, then I don't know what is. I spent some time on Martin's farm and drank tea with his lovely family and mentor. They seemed to live a very simple and peaceful life - something that must come in handy for Martin when he is working with horses.
I wouldn't say I'm scared of horses, but lets just say that I am wary of them. Getting on a horse and going for a relaxing ride does not happen with me. If I get on a horse I spend the entire time thinking, "this thing is in control and I may die any second". All this considered, Martin's act was all the more special. The best way to describe it is 'Horse Yoga', but that doesn't really do it justice. Check out this clip, watch the show and be amazed. How he got the horse to do things like that is totally beyond me.
I wouldn't say I'm scared of horses, but lets just say that I am wary of them. Getting on a horse and going for a relaxing ride does not happen with me. If I get on a horse I spend the entire time thinking, "this thing is in control and I may die any second". All this considered, Martin's act was all the more special. The best way to describe it is 'Horse Yoga', but that doesn't really do it justice. Watch the show and be amazed. How he got the horse to do things like that is totally beyond me.
Martin asked me if I wanted to have a go on one of the horses. I mumbled something about having 'an old knee injury that means I can't go near horses' and went on my way to the next act.
On my way to meet tightrope walker Sebastian Petriw a couple of things happened. I got barked at by every single neighbourhood dog in the area. And the weather started to play up like never before.
The dogs I could deal with (ignore my reaction in the show, that was all for show. Ahem). However, the weather was a real concern. Sebastian was planning on walking between two buildings to try and win the episode for Argentina. As always with death defying acts, he seemed very relaxed about it all. In the car on the way to where he had his tightrope set up, I told him that I was concerned about the weather and that he didn't have to do it unless he felt it was safe. He replied in slightly broken English "David, I don't plan on dying today". Despite that being a very, very cool thing to say I did wonder why he had to say it. Surely that's his plan every day?
Sebastian is an act that sticks in my mind for reasons you may not expect. You'll have to tune into the show to see why.
Being a long-suffering Arsenal fan I was really looking forward to the next act. What I didn't anticipate is the events that followed that night. I met football freestyler Fiorella Castillo in Buenos Aires on the same night that River Plate, a local football team with a manic following in the area played a game that if they won, meant they won the league. They won the game. They won the league. The streets of Buenos Aires went INSANE as we tried to watch Fiorella in action.
Needless to say that Fiorella impressed for the camera and for the gathered crowds in the streets. What I will say is this: I now really empathise with those Sky Sports reporters that stand outside grounds on transfer deadline day. Football fans can be a right handful when you are trying to film something.
I was feeling pretty confident. My only concern was that Laura was in Japan and my limited knowledge of that place is that they have plenty of weird stuff that could really impress the jury. I was just hoping that Laura hadn't got anything too good. I did feel a little bit hypocritical thinking that Japan had 'plenty of weird stuff' as my next act was one of the strangest I encountered throughout the whole series.
I went to an art gallery in Buenos Aires that had some very interesting pieces hanging on the wall. On closer inspection they had something of the Jackson Pollock about them. Paint sprayed over the canvas in thin lines. I couldn't quite figure out what was special about them until I met the man responsible for them - Leandro Granato.
Leandro squirts a special paint solution up his nose, holds it there for a little while and then squirts it out of his eyes on to the canvas. Just writing that sentence made me squirm a little bit. Seeing it up close is something really unique so you have to check it out. A side note to this section of the show is that for some reason, it was face meltingly hot in his studio/ gallery. Maybe it makes the paint squirt further? Who knows what artists need to completely their visions?
Horse Yoga, tightrope walking, football freestyling and eye painting. I had done well; there was no denying it. Did Laura get something better in Japan or do I run away with the series in this episode? As always, there is only one way to find out - tune in on Tuesday at 9pm to find out!
Love, David x