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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All tied up! » » Matt Johnson on BGT (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Reviewer EndersGame
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Profile of EndersGame
Did anyone see Matt Johnson's performance in the semi-finals of Britain's Got Talent?

Paramedics called on to Britain’s Got Talent stage as escapologist cheats death in stunt horror
Daredevil Matt Johnson had to beckon for help from backstage staff who ran out with a metal pole that helped him escape

You can view the entire clip here:

Media is reporting it with headlines like the following:
"Shocking moment live TV stunt goes horribly wrong"
"Paramedics called to set after Matt Johnson's stunt"
"Escape Artist Matt Johnson Gestures For Help During Terrifying Stunt"
"Britain's Got Talent escapologist 'nearly dies' forcing paramedics onto stage mid-performance"
"Paramedics Rush On Stage To Attend To 'Britain's Got Talent' Escapologist"

See here to read some of the press.

What do you think - did things genuinely go wrong? Or was this all part of the "act", and a clever way for Matt to get publicity? Congratulations to him for creating suspense and getting attention!

BoardGameGeek reviewer EndersGame - click here to see all my pictorial reviews: => Magic Reviews <==> Playing Card Reviews <==> Board Game Reviews <==

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706 Posts

Profile of Moxahalla
Nice timing it to the last second. Mmm, if it wasn't such a "close call" - would he be getting these headlines? I think not. He knows what he's doing.
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Profile of Cliffg37
Agree with Mox, he knew what he was doing, and he handled it brilliantly. If he scared people and made them think he was in trouble, then he did his job. The idea of using some surprise object when you get stuck is not new, but he pulled it off well.
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
Harry Murphy
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Profile of Harry Murphy
Brilliant performance!! He really sold the act I think this was great theater and even better post-performance news story (I loved the hyperbole of the news stories). Bravo!!!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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I went to the Magic Cafe and all I got were these lousy
749 Posts

Profile of Rook
Very nicely done. I really liked the touch with the bar at the end. I recently acquired one of the "Head Boxes" from Richard and am currently setting things up with it.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
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Profile of Kondini
Think there is a lesson to learn here. Last nights show had Cowell pull his act to bits with a comparison to the rola act which was on. Listen to his put down and take it on board, to go Ott with the danger angle could detract from that very purpose.
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Darlington UK
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Profile of Riley
It seems to be the modern trend to give the impression we are so uncertain of what we are doing that we have a "near miss"

It's a trend I hope will soon end. Would we want such a person to service our car? Or maybe repair our gas cooker?

I know many will disagre with me, but I am so tired of the "end justifies the means" approach to publicity, where the means is the "something has gone wrong" scenario.
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Profile of Kondini
Right on the nose Riley 👍
Harley Newman
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Being hauled off in an ambulance is so cliche.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain
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Profile of Cliffg37
I see both sides of this coin.

I have never been a fan of the incompetent klutz performer. I think many people use this to build tension into their acts. Is this a crutch as they have no other way to keep the audience focused other than making them wonder if the magician is about to screw up? Maybe.

I was criticized once for escaping from an "electric" chair. I made the escape perfectly and without flaw. What I was told was, "You did exactly what the audience expected you to do." in other words I said I was going to escape, and I did. Was that boring? Was it exciting? I had a numbered countdown on a screen letting people know my time limit and when the electricity would come on. I escaped at about 1.5 seconds time left. The audience all joined in counting out loud with the timer. (That was unexpected, but it showed me they were engaged in the performance.)

Bets for money or other things, timers and the like add excitement and audience engagement.

Now onto the klutz. The magician (escape artist) in trouble does only one thing, it creates the "oh spit!" factor int he audience. It makes them wonder if they are going to see a death scene or an embarrassing rescue from the device. This can be good in two ways. one is making the audience wonder like I just said. The other is later, and I see this as a benefit. The audience goes home with the idea, "wow that was tough, and he got out anyway."

I think it just has to be what works for the individual performer. Don't forget what Richard Pryor said to Eddie Murphey. Murphey wanted to know if his act was too vulgar. Pryor said, "Are they laughing?" Murphey said yes. "Are you getting paid?" Murphey said yes. Pryor said, "That's all."
Magic is like Science,
Both are fun if you do it right!
The Duster
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Profile of The Duster
Simon Cowell was critizing one thing only

And the rest of the panel agreed

The acrobat guys just did it

Matt went on, and on, and on... in his VT, etc - about how dangerous it was, how he was risking his life, yadda yadda

It was far too much

And with each empty ‘this is really dangerous’ - the stakes are lowered

Stop telling us how dangerous it is

If you don’t think we believe it’s real, telling us again and again will both annoy us and make us care less.

What’s the answer?

I would have used the VT to have fun, trying to escape a phone box, etc all jokey and personality led... but fun and engaging

If you want to have a serious persona - the push the training... but don’t just say it’s dangerous again and again... David Blane heightens the stakes by showing his training (I don’t mean the escape but things like holding your breath)... he heightens the stakes by having other people saying it’s dangerous... experts, friends, family... etc

For me the escape was nice... but he lost everyone on the VT before. Very poor choice and a lack of understanding over how he would come across

Almost as bad a choice as the comedian who went on in the final and did a song about he was better than everyone else... that guy went on late yet still got no votes... as he also made himself unpopular

Unfortunately part of these shows is making yourself likeable

On that front Matt failed miserably by repeating ‘this is dangerous... I could die... etc’

If you are a stranger, and you want votes you need to make us care about you first...
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of the WI having made 5 tier cakes with
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Profile of dave_matkin
On Jun 11, 2018, The Duster wrote:

...I would have used the VT to have fun, trying to escape a phone box,

Didn't the big guy off monkey magic do that? It may have been a SJ!
Dave “SPARKY” Matkin

Now AKA........
Smile “WHEELS” Smile
That’s the closest smilies to a wheelchair so I’m using them despite not having a horse ….. or being able to do the walking globe. Mmmmm can you do a walking globe in a wheelchair?
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