CHINA competes during the synchronized swimming team free routine final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Friday, Aug. 10, 2012. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A 75-year-old Durban man is holding thumbs after making it to the second round of auditions for SA’s Got Talent.

This is Ricky Gass’s third attempt to win the competition.

He is known to thousands of Durbanites as the delightful old man who plays piano for passers-by at The Workshop in the CBD and is excited at the chance to attend Joburg auditions for the TV reality show as circumstances prevented him from progressing twice before.

“I auditioned in 2009 at the ICC in Durban and I was called for the second round but I couldn’t go because I didn’t have taxi fare.

“The taxi driver asked me to pay R280 to get to Sibaya Casino and I live on an old-age grant so I didn’t have that kind of money and I couldn’t go,” he said. Gass tried again the following season but this time he did not even get to his audition as he began to feel faint while waiting in the queue. “I stood for over four hours and just decided to go home because I felt like I was about to faint,” he said.

This year he again made his way to the Olive Convention Centre for the pre-auditions.

Gass was pleasantly surprised when he was called for the theatre auditions which took place in Johannesburg last week on Tuesday.

He said he was hopeful after his electric guitar performance had the audience shouting and clapping.

“The atmosphere was absolutely wonderful; the last time I felt like that was back in 1981 when I was performing at the first anniversary of Zimbabwe’s independence with my little girl who was 11 at the time,” said Gass.

The winner of the SA’s Got Talent competition will walk away with a grand prize of R250 000.

The show will be televised for eight weeks on starting on August 30 at 8.30pm.