Archive for the 'America’s Got Talent' Category

Franco, Free Book Download, K-Pop And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on September 22nd, 2014

Mat Franco visited Live with Kelly and Michael last Friday to perform a little magic under the “eagle eyes” of Michael Strahan. You can keep up with Mat, or get a T-shirt, over at his website.

It is the last day of summer but the Conjuring Arts Research Center Summer Reading Club is going until at least Sunday. This week’s offering is Jack Merlin’s And A Deck Of Cards. Originally three pamphlets from back in the 1920s, this book covers some serious sleight of hand driven card magic. Yo ucan get your free high quality PDF download until Sunday right here.

Eran Yaniv, the CEO and founder of Perfecto Mobile, penned a piece for Entrepreneur over the weekend that explains business lessons he learned from his years as a magician. You can read over his four points here.

The Daily 49er, which reports the news in and around California State University Long Beach, wrote up the recent competition held by IBM Ring 96.

According to The Branson Tri-Lake News, Aaron Radatz is heading to the area for a new show on the showboat Branson Belle. The article includes a short interview with Radatz, who can be seen on Masters Of Illusion.

If you are a follower of Asian girl pop groups, you may know of Miss A, which is made up of two Korean and two Chinese singers. Chinese member Fei appeared recently on the mainland China television Grand Magician, which sees celebs learning magic. She was paired with Lee Eun Gyeol and, according to a story picked up by some Asian versions of Yahoo News, came in 2nd.

Mat Franco’s Biggest Fan, Cardsharp Affleck, Dealing With Copperfield [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on September 18th, 2014

The big story in magic is Mat Franco taking the top prize on America’s Got Talent. His biggest fan is, by his own admission, his grandmother and she was featured on the above WJAR NBC 10 piece yesterday before the results were announced.

Between y’all iTricksters and me, Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini told me weeks ago when he was in St. Louis that Mat Franco had the best shot of all the magicians.

Also between you and me, the podcast has been sidelined thanks to a little throat and ear infection. Everything is better now, recording is starting back up and there will be a new podcast next week. Think you would be a good guest for the Magic Week in Review? Email me at brownbagmagic AT swbell DOT net.

Technology Tell caught up with Rick Lax to chat about Wizard Wars. It is shaping up to be quite the hit for SyFy; maybe we will be seeing more magic from it and the rest of the NBC family of channels.

It is not quite magic, but Ben “Bruce Wayne” Affleck has been talking about being tossed out of casinos for counting cards. Read all about it on E! Online. You know Ben, if you are really good at it you don’t get caught… just sayin’.

Very cool story on about brokering a deal for a vintage aviation manual singed by Houdini twice and purchased by David Copperfield.

Did you see The Castle on ABC’s Nightline last night? I missed it too… But stay tuned to iTricks and we will bring you the video.

More Mat Franco: The Hometown Report

Posted by Michael on September 18th, 2014

WJAR NBC 10 was waiting outside Radio City Music Hall to celebrate when hometown boy Mat Franco won the night on America’s Got Talent. They chatted with Mat, Mel B and the King of All Media, Howard Stern, about the win.


Posted by Michael on September 18th, 2014

There were many sources, including America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern, speculating that the two non-musical finalists may have a real advantage since the four musical acts could see their votes thinned out. Before the votes were revealed, though, each act performed with a celebrity guest. Magician Mat Franco’s pair up was the only one not revealed to the press; in fact, it was even billed as a special surprise guest at the top of the show. When he took the stage with Howard Stern, it was revealed that his special guest was Rosie O’Donnell and the stars participated in the card transference we are featuring at the top of the page.

Once the results were revealed, the popular theory appeared to be true as the sixth, fifth and fourth place acts were all music acts. The third place act was acrobatic dance squad AcroArmy leaving singer Emily West and magician Mat Franco in contention for the 2014 America’s Got Talent crown. The winner would receive $1,000,000 and a Las Vegas stint later this month… and was revealed to be Mat Franco, the first magician to win America’s Got Talent!

Congratulations, Mat. Now your job is to be more Terry Fator than Michael Grimm.

Naked Magicians, Blaine, Franco And More [Magic Bulletin]

Posted by Michael on September 17th, 2014

First up is Mat Franco’s second performance from last night’s episode of America’s Got Talent. Tonight’s results show will see each of the finalist performance with a celebrity and all have been announced except for who will be joining Mat Franco. Birthday boy David Copperfield (maybe)? David Blaine (we think he is still in Asia)? Penn and Teller (probably not; they would be running against their own show in many markets)? Kathie Lee and Hoda (again)? Tune in tonight to find out.

Speaking of TV, we still have Fool Us and Masters of Illusions to look forward to in the US this week. Did you see Wizard Wars last night? Great line up, another solid show.

Speaking of David Blaine, he is still in the Philippines and there was another write up of his show on the site Apparently he was joined in his underwater breath holding demonstration by a skeptical young lady from the audience… He clocked over ten minutes and she lasted “a few seconds!”

Robin Leach’s Strip Scribbles column in the Las Vegas Sun has a bit on the Naked Magicians, who will be making a limited run at the Tommy Wind Theatre in Vegas late October.

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter has a review of Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles, which just played Telluride. You may want to catch it when it comes to your town (or favorite video on demand outlet).

Franco Goes For A Million

Posted by Michael on September 17th, 2014

Season nine of America’s Got Talent comes to a close tonight when this year’s winner is revealed. Last night the six finalists each took the stage twice, once with a new act and once with a repeat of their “breakout” performance from earlier in the season. While for the singers and dance/acrobatic squad AcroArmy this meant actually redoing a song or routine, magician Mat Franco was allowed to perform something that recalled the spirit of an earlier effect without being required to repeat a trick he had already performed. He chose to go back to his original audition, which was a story driven card routine that ended with the judges’ pictures appearing on playing cards, and perform a story driven cups and balls routine (above).

For his second appearance on the program Mat went big. A stage full of volunteers were brought up from the audience, each holding a jumbo sized covered card. While Mel B. was tasked with using her ESP to divide the volunteers between black and red cards, Howard Stern was asked to do the same with a face down deck of standard Bicycles. Despite working independently, the two judges produced mirror results (we will bring you that video a little later). Howard Stern then told Mat Franco he deserved to win (although that was said more than once in the course of the show).

Was it actually enough for Mat Franco to be the first magician to win America’s Got Talent? All will be revealed tonight on the live final. You can still vote for Mat at until noon Eastern today.

Mat Franco On The Today Show

Posted by Michael on September 16th, 2014

Matt Franco appeared on The Today Show this weekend, performing out on their famous plaza. Of course, Mat is the last magician standing on America’s Got Talent which airs its final competition show of the season tonight. If the show follows the format used in previous seasons, he will probably perform twice on tonight’s show including one performance with some type of celebrity. You may remember last year when teen magician Collins Key was assisted by NBC’s Hoda and Kathie Lee.

Voting will be open after the show tonight on The million dollar winner will be revealed tomorrow.