America’s Got Talent’s relationship with magic on again, off again

July 2nd, 2009 | Joe Hadsall | Filed Under General


For a long time, the magic world offered only a few promises, similar to that whole death and taxes thing:

But is that last one changing?

Consider last week’s impressive performance of Drew Thomas, which has already netted him interviews on iTricks and the Magic Newswire. This week, it was Jay Mattioli who earned rave reviews from the judges.

Add to this a performance by Joseph Constantine, which led to what Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch column labeled as “this season’s most interesting moment.” (Anytime a column uses Lost references, it’s going to get our attention.) Judge for yourself in the video below (lovingly pilfered from Dodd Vickers):

During the judge’s assessment, David Hasselhoff says he’s seen the trick before. Sharon Osbourne responds by saying she has seen the trick before, but never saw Constantine do it before. Eventually, the judges push him through to the next round. But judging from the segment NBC aired, it’s fair to ask whether the judges were moved by his performance or his story. We’re hoping for the former.

Keep in mind that AGT has some of the weirdest, oddest sound editing, with applause and raspberries at the weirdest, most unrealistic moments. Also keep in mind that this is a TV show, meant to be filled with dramatic moments, and produced so. There are good magic acts out there, and bad acts. But a good act may get shoehorned into a bad situation. Good acts can be misrepresented as something else. And despite this newfound love for magicians, AGT has no problem mocking them.

Instead of trying to figure out AGT’s mind, it’s better to take the obvious lesson from it. And that’s a little something we like to drive into your skulls every possible moment: CHARACTER MAKES THE MAGICIAN, NOT THE TRICKS. Remember what Osbourne said about Constantine? Also, let’s look at that Jay Mattioli vid, and pay special attention to what all of the judges say:

6 comments

  1. Is there any chance you can show these videos on YouTube or something because this “hulu” thing doesn’t seem to play outside of the USA (if it’s not a copyright issue or something).

    Thanks,
    Jacob

  2. Man i would have to say that my heart goes out to this guy and his family. I know how passionate magic is for us and how hard we have to work to make it perfect. I hope this guy and his family wins!

  3. I found it ridiculous that those magic acts made it through especially the family with the sob story. Each of those acts performed generic illusions that have been performed by countless performers. Not one thing was original yet those judges for some reason were wowed. It’s all BS. They just needed acts to pass through. Each of these acts will be eliminated due to lack of originality. Watch and see.

  4. Being seen by 25,000,000 people is enough for any entertainer to get more bookings and more money. Most people in the audience and at home still has no idea how both acts did what they did. Isn’t that entertainment….

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