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Episode Recap: Billy Bears All
Tonight's first team of challengers on Wizard Wars includes Vancouver magicians Matt Johnson and Wes Barker. They'll face off against American neighbors Justin Miller, a street magician from Ohio and Adam Wilber, a close-up artist from New Hampshire.
Tonight's three everyday objects for round one include a flying toy shark, a bubble maker and a briefcase full of money.
Justin and Adam head to the stage to take the audience through a journey of imagination. With a fiery flash, Adam starts the bubble machine. Justin calls up a female volunteer from the audience and takes a dollar bill from her wallet. He rips a corner from the bill and hands the bill back to the volunteer. Justin then grabs a solid bubble from the cloud of bubbles on stage and inside the bubble is the perfectly fitting corner from the dollar bill. Using the power of imagination - and some more fire - Adam turns a single bill into a briefcase overflowing with cash. Justin then somehow pulls out a bowling ball from inside the stuffed briefcase. An audience member verifies that it is in fact, a real bowling ball.
They lament about including the floating toy shark, as it falls outside of their scope as closeup magicians. As Justin holds up a screen, Adam works some magic behind the curtain with the floating shark balloon. Justin drops the curtain and slashes open the shark with a knife to reveal the bowling ball inside - and then pops the bowling ball revealing it was a balloon: an impressive, fast-paced finish. The Judges praised their overall story and theme but thought some of their more specific tricks (especially the bubble) were less convincing. All the Judges agreed on the strength of their finish.
Matt starts off their routine by finding his briefcase full of cash filled with a fishbowl with one measly dollar bill instead. Wes comes to the stage holding the toy shark, explaining he spent the cash on the fishbowl and toy. In a rage, Matt stabs the shark balloon and stuffs it into the fishbowl, keeping the dollar and handing the fishbowl to Wes, sending him on his way. Matt has an audience member sign the bill, then folds it, adding a "P" on one side and "T" on the reverse (for Penn and Teller, respectively). He then places it into a tiny envelope that the volunteer holds open over his head. He then lays out the plan: the bill will vanish, the crumpled up shark toy will vanish, and inside the fishbowl (placed onstage under a cloth) will be the signed bill. Wes adds in, "with no sleeves!" and Matt removes his jacket.
When the trick fails, Matt has the volunteer look inside the envelope; the bill is gone but a folded piece of paper is there instead: the bubble machine instructions. Wes brings out the bubble machine and grabs a bubble that transforms into a light bulb - and then inside it, is the bill. The volunteer confirms its his dollar. Wes then reveals that the fishbowl is now full of cash - as is the briefcase and bubble machine box that have been in plain sight the whole time.
Despite some fun tricks performed by Matt and Wes, it was Justin and Adam's big finish that sealed the deal to advance them to the Wizard War. They'll face off against Billy Kidd and Gregory Wilson from Team Wizard. Each routine in Round Two must include these four "sleepytime" objects: a giant teddy bear, an old-fashioned alarm clock, hot chocolate with marshmallows, and footie pajamas.
Challengers Adam and Justin drop the audience into the scenario as a pair of magician-roommates home after a busy night of magic-making. Justin wants a drink, but Adam hands him hot chocolate; he transforms the cocoa packet into packet of pourable whiskey. Justin then transforms a bag of marshmallows into red-dyed marshmallows in an instant. He then shows off a routine he's been practicing with Tony, his giant teddy bear, using the bear as a puppet for some clever sleight of hand. He then manages to get the bear dressed in footie pajamas without moving his hands. Adam then makes the alarm clock disappear, so they can sleep in the next morning. As Adam leave the stage, Justin has a heart-to-heart with Tony - who then sits up and walks off the stage with Justin! The audience and Judges go nuts!
The Judges loved their routine overall, but found little flaws throughout the act that could make it harder for them to beat the Wizard Team.
Gregory welcomes the audience into their nightmare by ripping off the head of their giant teddy bear, then transforming it into a walking, talking doll: with Billy inside! As she takes off her bear costume, she reveals she's wearing footie pajamas. Gregory makes a glass of milk appear from his sleeve. They then have two different audience volunteers count out a handful of marshmallows from two different bags. Gregory then proceeds to beguile an audience member by making marshmallows disappear right in front of her eyes - in truth, he's tossing them to Billy (who eats them) right over the audience member's head - but she can't see the toss - the audience can't stop laughing.
Then with a quick change, Gregory's teddy bear head mauls Billy's pajamas, revealing a bloody, tattered mess. Gregory then makes the alarm clock disappear, only to reappear underneath Penn and Teller's seats - ringing, no less. They then recall the two numbers of marshmallows the audience members counted: ten and fifteen. Lo and behold, the revealed alarm clock is set to 10:15.
The Judges loved their showmanship and Penn especially loved their hilarious take on the "paper ball over the head" trick with the marshmallows. Despite a close battle with clever trickery, it's the Wizard Team's sophistication that crowns Gregory and Billy tonight's winners.