Wizard Wars Episodes
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This week's Wizard Wars pits two rising stars against two accomplished, young close-up magicians. First up is Blake Vogt, a 24-year old magician from Los Angeles who's created illusions for David Copperfield and David Blaine. He's paired with Adam Trent, a magician and comedian from Los Angeles.
They're up against Cashaan Wallace, teenage magician from Ohio who specializes in rubber band illusions ("Yes, it's a thing," host Ellen Fox assures the audience.) He's paired with Dan Hauss, a street magician from Philadelphia.
Ellen reveals that both teams must use Tarot cards, a remote controlled helicopter, and sparklers in each of their routines. Adam and Blake are up first and their routine is actually one about disproving things once thought to be magic: flight, fire, and flippin' Tarot cards. As Adam brings in a helicopter with its blades spinning, strapped to a table, he asks a single audience member to keep his eyes on the heli for the duration of their routine.
Adam asks an audience member to pick one of the four Tarot suits; she chooses Swords. Adam lights up a sparkler while Blake fires up a helicopter. Adam burns the helicopter blades as they spin with his sparkler and Blake reveals that he's burnt in the word "Swords" on the helicopter blades.
Adam has an audience member pick a judge who then is asked to pick a card from the row of Swords. The audience member chooses Teller and then the magicians turn attention back to the audience member watching the chopper, who confirms that nothing has happened to it. The magicians reveal there's been a folded Tarot card taped to the tail of the chopper the entire time. They ask Teller to reveal which card he picked; he holds up nine fingers. The magicians remove the Tarot card from the chopper, unfold it, and voila - it's Teller's card!
The audience and judges are gleefully stunned. The judges all agree the duo killed it on stage, and Penn even notes their performance was full of "rare and beautiful" magic.
Cashaan and Dan take the stage and launch right into their skilled sleight of hand, including when Dan pulls a jewel from the eye of a prop skull that magically appears in Cashaan's hand across the stage. The jewel undergoes a few more impressive sleight of hand transformations. They call on an audience member to sit on stage and cut a deck of Tarot cards; Dan selects the next three face-down cards from where she cut them. These cards represent the past, present and future.
The first card image reveals a scene similar to what they have setup on stage with the skull and three cards. The second card reveals a ring; the third, fireworks. Dan asks the volunteer to take off one of her rings, which he then places in a napkin and gives back to her. Meanwhile, Cashaan gets ready to fly the helicopter. When he goes to fire it up, it won't move. They pass the remote back to Penn to give it a whirl; he too, cannot get it to start. Cashaan tries waving some sparklers over it, but to no avail.
Fearing their trick has fallen apart, Dan remembers the volunteer on stage. When she opens the napkin, her ring has been replaced by batteries while Penn opens up the battery compartment of the remote to find that her ring has been placed safely inside. The ring is passed from the judges to the woman onstage who confirms, to her amazement, that it's her ring.
Despite their amazing sleight of hand and creative reveal with the remote, Cashaan and Dan are no match for the downright baffling deception shown by Adam and Blake. The latter pair advance to the next round to face the Wizard Team's Shimshee and Angela Funovitz for the Wizard War.
Ellen reveals their four everyday objects for the next round, which are: salt and pepper shakers, a chessboard, a rocking chair and a pirate costume.
Adam and Blake are up first with their "Private Chess Demonstration." Blake arrives on stage in a pirate costume, mistaking it as a "pirate" chess demonstration. Blake does a quick change into his regular clothes behind a cape as the pair begins their routine. Blake sits in the rocking chair as Adam moves pieces of the chessboard without touching them, to the audience's amazement.
Blake transforms a pawn into a mini-sized pawn while Adam then turns the mini piece into a salt shaker. Blake makes his own pepper shaker appear on the board. Adam gathers all the pawns on the board and places them into a bandana, turning them into dust. Blake reveals that the salt and pepper shakers are now filled with chess pieces.
As they end their trick, they transform the chessboard so the squares spell out "End" - but they realize they forgot the rocking chair! They pick up the rocking chair that Blake was sitting in for the entire duration of their routine and astonishingly crumple the entire thing in their hands - it was made of paper! The judges note that they're still young and some of their sleight of hand could use some work, but that the final rocking chair reveal really made up for their still young performance.
Shimshi and Angela take the stage, where Shimshi is tied up and seated in the rocking chair. Angela picks two audience members similarly dressed in black and white outfits. She has one stand in front of Shimshi and hands the volunteer a black and white pirate shirt. The other audience member helps her raise a curtain over the pair as the other audience member is told to put on the pirate shirt. When they lower the curtain in a matter of seconds, Shimshi is wearing the pirate shirt underneath his restraints.
They continue with their black and white theme as Shimshi goes into the audience. He pours salt and pepper into an audience member's hand, asking her to pick one of the two; she chooses pepper. He has the volunteer close her hands and tells her that he's made the pepper disappear. When she opens her hands, only the salt remains.
Angela then heads to the judges to work her mentalist magic. She brings out a chessboard while Shimshi explains that he wrote down a chess move on a note and placed it in the board. Using the power of her mind, Angela then tries to influence one of the judges to make that move. She asks Penn to choose a color, then a piece; Penn chooses a white knight. Teller is then asked to place it anywhere on the board.
When they open the note at the conclusion of their trick, it says both the white knight and its exact location on the board.
The judges were simply wowed by the Wizard Team's salt and pepper trick, but the challenger eked out a win with their amazing use and reveal of the rocking chair. Adam and Blake celebrate at the prospect of going home $10,000 richer.