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Wayne Kawamoto

Britain's Got Talent: Where's the Magic?

By May 8, 2009

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In this brief article, Piers Morgan, judge on "Britainís Got Talent," says that the show has been lacking good magicians. "I don't know where they are, or whether they're scared because we have a sort of anti-magician feel to the show,Ē he says in the article.

While the shows do seem slanted towards singers - in an interview with Kevin James, who competed in the American version, he said that it was - I maintain that there hasn't yet been a magician with the right mix of routines.

In "Americaís Got Talent," James' early routines initially impressed the judges and carried him through the first few shows, but his "Reanimator" routine fell flat. I think that James' strong repertoire was restricted because some of his signature pieces, such as snowstorm, were performed by Nathan Burton on the show the year before (Burton was a strong choice as well). David & Dania, who made it through several rounds, seemingly couldn't top their fantastic quick-change act.

One can say that a magic act isn't right for the television competition. But who would have thought that a ventriloquist, Terry Fator, could win it all in 2007?

To adequately compete on the show, we need a magician/entertainer with a wide range of talents: illusion, stand-up, comedy and storytelling, who can impress the judges and meet the strict performance requirements of the show. A magician can take routines from his or her show and compete with them, but more important, each has to be made into pieces that stand on their own, and their sequence has to be carefully planned from the very beginning.

Time for some magic pros to team together and hone and present a magic talent? I hope so. A few pros come to my mind: Kalin and Jinger, Jeff McBride, Jeff Hobson, Fielding West, Ed Alonzo and Brian Brushwood. (My apologies to those in the U.K. I'm not familiar enough with the talent there to name some magicians.)

Do you have any candidates who you think can make it to the top in these shows?

More Reading:
The Top Ten Magicians of Our Time
Famous Magicians
Las Vegas Magic Shows


May 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm
(1) TV says:

My brother (George the Giant Mc Arthur) made it to the round of 40 an last season’s AGT. One of the problems for variety acts is that the logistics of setting up an act work against them. A singer has prerecorded music and just has to remember the words. Magic/sideshow performers have to deal with all the technical aspects for an illusion or stunt. In addition, the production staff push the performers to do bigger things, and this often leads to a trainwreck of a performance. Remember, the Pendragons never made it past the Las Vegas tapings, and their performance was never aired.

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