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Slim King
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Durring the auditions several of us used completely original material. No Google search could reveal the secret if there was one to reveal. I explained the issue of using store bought items in my interview portion of the audition ( I had over an hour to explain), but the execs didn't seem to care much. What I predicted in the interview and my subsequent talks with NBC reps and the like, is exactly what happened.(And I'm sorry to say that)

Callaham was the only one selected that was using original material IMHO.
Hope next week is better. I think that CA is losing his grip on the new Vegas show. Lot's of magicians would have gone to see it and kept a good buzz going, but not now.
THE MAN THE SKEPTICS REFUSE TO TEST FOR ONE MILLION DOLLARS.. The Worlds Foremost Authority on Houdini's Life after Death.....
splice
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Both Uri and Criss said they wanted to see something they had never seen before and would blow their minds.

Then we saw PK Touches, Russian Roulette with Nail Guns, the old bear/fox trap stunt, and a phonebook test.

I don't know if the performers missed what Uri and Criss said, but if not they weren't trying very hard.
Hill
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 09:27, splice wrote:
Both Uri and Criss said they wanted to see something they had never seen before and would blow their minds.

Then we saw PK Touches, Russian Roulette with Nail Guns, the old bear/fox trap stunt, and a phonebook test.

I don't know if the performers missed what Uri and Criss said, but if not they weren't trying very hard.


I can't help but think that this is a bit harsh. It takes a pair of brass sponge balls to put yourself in the public eye and up to such scrutiny.
palmtreemagic!
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The Israeli show was much better IMO. The show was half an hour longer if I remember correctly, and no Criss Angel. The host was also a lot more interesting. I went to a recording of the show last January (where Uri's famous thumb was exposed) and it was really enjoyable, a good amount of original stuff. Ehud Segev was the runner-up on the show, and I noticed he had some trouble with his English on this version. I would imagine its tough to perform a mentalism act live in 3 minutes, but it must be much harder to do it in your second language. The Live mentalism act was also a lot more successful for some reason. I think they used celebrity names for one of them, and symbols for another, but the results were like 40% for that particular item. My opinion, Criss Angel should not be on this show, make it just Uri.
Unleashing the moment of astonishment, one impromptu situation at a time.
ALEXANDRE
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 01:11, videokideo wrote:
Id give everything I own for the opportunity to have Criss, on television, critique me. I would say to him what every magician in the world has been dying to say..... "You, Criss Angel, critiquing me is like Michael Vick critiquing a premiere dog show! Come back and try again when you can perform sponge balls without the aid of stooges and camera effects!"


I suggest people watch next week, because if AC comes out with a smart remark, Callahan will respond!

Callahan loves controversy, it seems to come to him even if he doesn't want it ... AC should be on his best behavior for next week's show, if not, watching it will be an additional treat!

Someone asked about laypeople, I posted that already but the thread is getting too big and I think most are not reading all of it. I watched it with friends and they were bored, cracking jokes throughout the whole thing. They said they rather hand out candy and watch kid's costumes on Halloween than another episode of Phenomenon, and this after I had spent two weeks pumping them up for it.

I liked the performers, but I'm suspect, this is my thing, my passion. I felt terrible for Gerry who had to stand there and take the criticism. But like I said earlier, I imagine Callahan will not! Not lightly anyway.
Enigmo
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I personally enjoyed the show. It was refreshing to watch live non edited magical performances and not a carefully edited magic stunt.

A couple of thoughts. Kudos for casting Ross and Carmen Electra as judges/assistants. People with great genuine reaction. I won't discuss Mrs Hunter's emotional contribution (or lack of).

I don't see why people are so hard on Chris Angel. I am not particularly a fan butI thought his comments were all fair. He said from the start that he was looking for something he had not seen, in other words, something phenomenal. He is essentially there to let public know that what they're seeing is not exceptional for someone knowledgeable in the field.

What I found more amusing is Uri Geller saying that there was no drama with the phone book prediction when he himself performed something in the most boring way imaginable... "I am placing 5 symbols here. I am placing a prediction here. We'll see if I'm right at the end of the show... Look at that! I was right. Even though we don't know whether these numbers were actually compiled or made up."

I wish they would bring a judge/advisor with no magic background but some stage theatre background. It would have been interesting to see the advices the performers would have received.

First of all, congratulations to all the performers. Everyone achieved success and everyone did a decent job considering this was a live unedited performance on TV.

I thought the show started strongly with the PK routine.

However... the two middle presentation (bear claw and nail gun) lacked in mystery. If I were to consider this from a layman's point of view, these would be my explanations:

Bear trap:

He never showed us that the large bear trap could be hurtful. If you truly don't feel pain, I can think of simpler ways of testing that.

Uri Geller gave him a good observation: You look like a lumberjack. Maybe that's what that performer should do: take the full personna of a woodsman. Then the bear trap would make sense in that context. Maybe he developped an instinct by observing how wolves behave which allows him to read minds, etc...

Nail gun:

These nail guns are rigged. or the one with nail is heavier since they have... nails. or someone was watching from backstage and signalled him or...
My point is this is supposed to be the show to locate the next phenomenon. These two particular performances didn't disprove very plausible explanations.

I must say I also found the nail gun plot confusing. Is he claiming he can sense danger? If so why have Carmen Electra shout the number outloud? Is he claiming he can detect when someone is nervous? But the more fundemental issue with any such performance on TV is : Why would NBC risk having someone endanger himself on their show? Answer: unless there is no risk... hmmmm....

However, of all four, I will say this: the nail gun performer was the most convincing...

However, congrats to all four for making it that far and appearing on TV. Good luck.

My only other comment is with respect to the voting. Does NBC really use the votes to decide who leaves? Or is that just a gimmick to elicit participation?
rowdymagi5
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I came away thinking, of all the people that auditioned, this is who they selected?? Im sure next week will be much better. However, it would have been better to have a really strong start, the two hour special should have been last night. Get the best on first to draw interest in the viewers.
splice
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 09:35, David Meade wrote:

I can't help but think that this is a bit harsh. It takes a pair of brass sponge balls to put yourself in the public eye and up to such scrutiny.


I don't deny that. But when the hosts say they want to see something they never saw before, coming up to the stage and doing a PK touch routine is missing the point. Not saying the routines weren't entertaining, but as far as never seen before? No way.
wardia
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I invited some lay friends to watch with me.
You guessed it they were not impressed!!!
Angel should not be there.
Uri should not have done that stunt!
Who cares what country these guys come from!
I certainly hope next week will be better.

wardia
entity
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The phone votes are a money-making scheme for the production.

Let's all call in and vote out Criss Angel.

- entity
Dr Spektor
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Luke is 99% bang on!

Roei's comment for a comeback to Criss is excellent!!!

In fact - I think all performers should be prepared to say


"Criss - Shut up. You are an embaressment to the art. We came on to connect with people to entertain and bring mystery to others - you are a destroyer of dreams. Why don't you do a 3 minute act up here and we can critique you - you are nothing without stooges, camera edits, Banachek's guidance(who?), and kick-backs from various sources.... get a life and grow up."

I can see JJ saying

"Did you say something? I thought I heard a jealous little girl crying - maybe a spirit trying to connect..."

or

"<Laugh> you certainly are brutal but not honest - face it - you just wish you had my powers"

or

"Criss, do you want my spirits to reveal the brutal truth about you? You are a PHONEY - so all you can see is phoniness..."



Heck, just when I started getting back my respect for Angel - he does this - as others have stated... ABOMINATION works well as a descriptor...

Ooops... the Abomination from Marvel Comics is offended that his name is associated with Angel.... he says comes up with something else or he'll smash us.


BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I am rooting for Jim and Angela!

....

TV mentalist WOULD work if done properly - not as an Idol style show - think of early Blaine.... it was GOOD... because it was MYSTERY.... MYSTERYYYYYYY...

I am truly inspired to develop a TV show for Discovery.... hey Entity and fellow Canadians - let me know if you'd be interested!!!!
"They are lean and athirst!!!!"
videokideo
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I would take the chance of being kicked off the show to have the opportunity to call out Criss on live tv next week.

Ive never been in a position before where I so badly want to watch fellow mentalists perform, good or bad, but almost refuse because of the idiot NBC booked to criticize them. It hurts to be so ticked off at something you can do absolutely nothing about. Im sick of that guy getting attention he doesn't deserve. The guy is a magic britney spears..a fake packaged and sold. They dressed him up goth, gave him an attitude, and found an untouched market....hes a dancing bear... and its fitting that he teamed up with cirque.

I liked most of the acts...althought I don't think mentalism plays well at all on television. The phone book test was awesome. didn't like the nail gun roulette. The guy didn't make sense with the wolf traps and I think will be voted out.

I watched with 3 frieds who were laymen... they hated the show. Thought it was boring minus a couple moments.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2007-10-25 10:28, Dr Spektor wrote:
I am rooting for Jim and Angela!

Excuse my Doc. Just wondering why are you rooting for Angela? Smile
Lumas
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Quote:
Bear trap:

He never showed us that the large bear trap could be hurtful. If you truly don't feel pain, I can think of simpler ways of testing that.

Nail gun:

These nail guns are rigged. or the one with nail is heavier since they have... nails. or someone was watching from backstage and signalled him or...

I must say I also found the nail gun plot confusing. Is he claiming he can sense danger? If so why have Carmen Electra shout the number outloud? Is he claiming he can detect when someone is nervous?
However, of all four, I will say this: the nail gun performer was the most convincing...


I am sure that a large majority of the people watching the show questioned why he did not show that the large bear trap was dangerous. It would be like performing the trick Fraud and saying "Look this is a regular bill, but let me now get another bill from my pocket and use that one." Why show us that an item is normal and then use a completely different one.

I am sure the nail gun is rigged. Would NBC allow someone to possibly shoot a nail into their brain? First, those nails weren't that scary looking. I think those are nails used for things like cabinets.

Second, I think he basically gave it away that he could tell what gun it was by making Carmen repeat the numbers like five times. I knew it was five after the second time she repeated the numbers, before he picked up the first gun. If you can read minds, then why make someone say the numbers out loud.
Hill
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I think Angela has enough of a USP and more than enough talent to get to the final two. And if she get's that far, America will make sure she wins. If I was a betting man, I would put £10 on her, and £10 on Jim.
videokideo
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And to answer a question on a couple pages back...

No, the show does not have to continue to run its full length on tv. Normally what they will do is knock off multiple players in one setting to cut down the number of weeks needed. But, there have been two reality competitions who never even made it to the final show..

Should be in the contract that your priority is to perform for exposure as it will pay off more than the prize. If all goes well, there will be a prize, but the exposure is your goal. But like I said, they usually find a way to cut the shows down. Right now, it wouldnt be hard to just have one final show where they vote on the ultimate winner.

A friend of mine works for NBC Florida called and told me this morning that they are already considering cutting the show short as ratings started ok, but slid to nothing by the end of the show. The ratings didn't meet standards promised to advertisers, and two advertisers have already pulled out as of this morning and consolidated their money on other shows. When you contract advertisers, you usually give them minimum number goals to reach in that the contract remains good. This show couldn't even reach those minimum numbers, so the advertisers do have the choice to move their funds elswhere in programming, or have part of their money refunded to a better compensated fee to stay within this shows timeslots. Fact is, this show is costing NBC money!
magic4545
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I have a few comments, but I haven't seen the show yet, even though I was one of the people chosen to fly to L.A. for auditions.

I've spoken to several of you about why I didn't go. Now, I'm convinced that it was for the best. They seem to have wanted someone 'really' psychic, and I don't believe in that, nor do I believe in anyone representing themselves as that. I'm more like Penn and Teller in that respect. There's a special hell for John Edwards, and anyone else preying on the general public. If someone is claiming paranormal powers, they deserve to be outed. Just my opinion. But, how do we do that without exposing the magic techniques that they're using? Hmmmm...

Now, I'm the biggest critic of Criss Angel, and Videokideo nailed it in the prior post.

But, how much of Criss' behavior was simply the show needing a Simon? Have you all been fooled? Are you missing the point of American television needing a conflict, and Criss had to take one for the show?

That being said, Criss didn't have to do what he did, even if a director encouraged it.

Do we all crawl onto the Criss Angel bandwagon, and sit quietly while he exposes everyone ELSE? Or do we educate the public that he is abusing the televised medium, and create a watchdog entity that can give back credibility to the televised magic and mentalism shows that it's lacked for quite a while.

What if an educated viewer were to have us behind them, telling them, "Yes, that effect can be done live... Contact ________ and he can come to your home or banquet and do that effect, and many others that are even more incredible!"

Exposing a magician for abusing situational manipulation that couldn't be duplicated under normal conditions is okay by me. It's not like we're exposing actual magic that can be done live. In fact, I feel that at a certain point, to save the future of televised magic, we need to tear down the current abuse of the medium, and expose the abusers as what they are.

At some point, we've got to separate our art from gratuitous post production manipulation.

Criss doing what he's done on the show, regardless of whether it was motivated by his ego or the producers, has forced us into a position where we almost CAN'T sit back and let him turn himself into a deity. It's not right.

There is plenty of legitimate mentalism and magic that can be done on these shows, but they choose to crap all over the art by contriving manipulated video shots and stooges.

Another issue that comes to mind when seeing this thread is the thought that it takes more 'time' and 'connection' to the audience to create great magic.

I've always felt that too many magicians and mentalists like to hear themselves talk, and they need too much buildup to 'sell' their effects. Just get more direct material and create it to impact without the B.S.

If your stuff gets to the point more quickly, then you won't have to worry when you go to a show, and they're asking you to get on with it.

Don't fall in love with listening to yourself talk about what you're going to do, or why you became a mentalist, blah blah blah. I'm Missouri. Show me!

If you do a 40-minute show, and you want to do four 10-minute effects that are being sold as "really filling ten minutes", I suggest that you do a shorter show. Do effects that get to the point. Especially with mentalism. It's already susceptible to being boring. Why make things worse?

Of course, many of you out there who are thinking "Yeah, right on!" are the actual guys that I'm talking about. And some of you probably think the same of me, in some of my effects. But we all need to get to the meat of the effects, and fall less in love with hearing ourselves talk.

Also, remember another TV show that offered a big cash prize at the end? The Ben Affleck/Derek Cecil project, "Push Nevada"? That cratered, and I don't think that they ever made it to the last episode. I feel that the same is going to happen here. Fortunately. Unfortunately. I just don't know.

Jimmy Fingers
waiting for NBC to put the episode on their website
Dannydoyle
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The only "phenemonal" powers demonstrated were mine when I predicted what would happen. I hope for more next week. As for J ack/Jim, there is no way he is going to match words with the ego maniac who to me looks more and more like Rachel Ray.

Hunter was not bored guys. Man for dudes so "in tune" with body language she was first confused, then ANGRY. Seriously man. She was quite unhappy with the method, which was "instant stooging" and she was not at all happy about it. He had to coach her on where the blanks were. Notice how she was NOT asked about it afterwords? Great editing and Gerry deserves the benifit of the doubt.

As for the bear trap, well how exactly did he get on the show anyhow?

The "touch" thing. I wish he would NOT have misspoke when he said "did you feel that touch before? And her saying "It wasn't really a touch" didn't help.

Heck the "celebrities" was a very loose useage of the term.

Uri god help me I thought was kind of a bright spot in a dark night. They were kind enough to edit his profile though LOL.

Now Criss. Part of the problem is he surrounds himself with people who for whatever reason are SO despirate to be on TV that they are willing to do things they may or may not agree with. Every one of them is an enabeler if you ask me. They feed his ego for a paycheck. He hires premire talent, in order to make himself look better. Sorry Luke but you fall into this catagory wheather you have any association with him personal or professional any more. I wish it could be explained.

The egonutsiness (an industry term) of him having to say how he did more magic than any other prime time magician. 900 hours? Now let me do my math. 1/2 hour show, 900 hours 1800 episodes? Is that even possible?

I MUST have misheard right? I don't have the heart to go back and listen to the quote as I don't want to waste good time after bad, but man this guy REALLY needs to come to earth.

Luke sorry if it seems as if I am taking a shot. I am not. At least you stopped which is a good thing.

Question is this in my mind. Is this going to help mentalism?
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
boinko
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I'm surprised no one is mentioning this -- but what's going with Phenomenon and with "media magic" in general these days -- is upstaging and oversizing the intimacy of magical entertainment.

And by "intimacy" I don't necessarily mean small crowds or small rooms. That's intimate, yes -- and for many magical effects works very well.

No, what's going on here is appears to be a fundamental conflict between "magical entertainment in person" versus "magical entertainment live via media."

The "in person" may not play big enough (but may be nicely intimate and effective for the audience.) And the "live via media" plays too big -- too large -- and essentially strips the necessary intimate connection from the entertainment.
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I will say this is not good for NBC, By the amount of post and discussion here and then go over to the NBC message board you see nothing good being said. And the message board at NBC is all but dead. Very few post since the show aired last night....I know they have that link for Video>>>Full Episodes and if they do eventually get it up all those lay people that didn't get what criss exposed will have a second chance....though I don't know how many people are going to watch it a second time....I think everyone here in the Café is doing a great job saying just what went wrong...I am sure NBC is listening trust me. That's how they found many of the contestants. Besides...their message board is so dead this is the best place to come for feed back....and to me it sounds like that zingy ear pitch from the feedback on the microphone.
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