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Episode Recap: Birds of a Feather
In the Wizard Wars finale, it's TEAM against TEAM as the wizards go head to head for a world-class magic showdown!
The first team of challengers includes Joseph Reohm, a magician from Los Angeles making a triumphant return to stage after nearly losing his hand in an accident last year. He's paired with Naathan Phan, a Scottish Asian magician from Orange, California. The two square off against Shayna Reed, the first woman to win Las Vegas' own World Team Magic Seminar from Eaton, Ohio and a William Scott Anderson, a magician from Oregon who brings magic to armed forces across the globe.
Host Ellen Fox reveals the three everyday objects that must each be used by both teams in their Round One routines: live birds, bulk cereal boxes, and toilet paper.
Joseph and Naathan take the stage for their routine, set up as an infomercial for "Fooldini's" magic cereal. First they make multiple bags of cereal appear from one box, followed by increasingly more outrageous objects like full sized stuffed animal, a broom, a glass of wine and even a year's subscription of magazines! They then make a bowling ball appear from the box.
Joseph and Naathan reveal the secret ingredient in their cereal: a full-sized magician (Naathan) stuffed into every box. Joseph then makes Naathan appear in an identical box across the stage. Naathan then turns toilet paper stuck to his shoe into streamers that launch into the crowd, followed by a bird appearing from the streamers. The Judges liked the story of the informercial, but were not terribly impressed by their deception.
After nearly losing their winged stage assistant in the Workshop, Shayne and Scott take the stage. They start their routine as if coming back from the grocery store, unloading their bulk cereal box and a roll of toilet paper that seems to defy gravity. When Scott opens the cereal, he finds a toy inside. Lamenting about the quality of toys in cereal boxes today, he dumps the bag over Shayna's hands, now holding a live bird that seems to have poured right out of the cereal box.
He then dumps a pile of ribbons into the empty box and asks an audience member to pull out a ribbon at random. He then has the audience member sitting next to that person sign her name on the ribbon. Scott then gently ties the ribbon around the dove's ankle. He then places the dove in the microwave and turns it on! The bird appears cooked alive, but Scott brings it back to life in his hands. For one final twist, Shayne appears to rip the bird apart alive - and magically produces two live birds.
The Judges thought they were clever tricks but thought their pacing was sluggish. It's Naathan and Joseph's compelling showmanship and chemistry on stage that takes them to the next round and a shot at $10,000.
Ellen unveils the four everyday objects that both the Wizard Team and their challengers must use in their Round Two magic routines: a dictionary, a jar of live earthworms, a confetti shooter, and a kiddie pool filled with rubber duckies.
Joseph and Naathan start off their routine with an explosive burst of confetti and lots of fun. Joseph reveals that Naathan is a master of impressions and accents and hands a list of impressions he can do to a random audience member. At any time, Joseph may shout "New voice!" and the audience member selects an item from the list; Naathan then has to keep going while doing a different celebrity impression or accent.
Naathan (channeling Johnny Carson) hands a dictionary to an audience member while Joseph hands a key to another audience member. They bring a third audience member up to the stage, who turns away as Joseph and Naathan begin juggling several rubber duckies from the kiddie pool, each with a different number of the bottom. Without anyone looking at the numbers she selects three ducks that are placed on a pedestal.
Joseph flips over the ducks to reveal a page number (273). The audience member with the dictionary opens up to that page and she's told to select the first word on the page, but not reveal it out loud. The pair then dumps a jar of "mind-reading" earthworms into a bag. When they unfold the bag (with the earthworms safely placed back in the jar), it reveals the word "conclusion." Lo and behold, that's the dictionary word.
They retrieve the key from the audience member, who unlocks a box that was placed on the stage the entire time. Inside was a note from the mind-reading earthworms, correctly predicting the numbers chosen, the impressions and accents chosen, AND each volunteer's name. In a final surprising reveal, they show that every piece of confetti they shot out at the beginning of their act is labeled with the word "conclusion."
The Judges loved their routine and the fact that they were always one step ahead of the audience. From their baffling magic to their comedic timing, the Judges are seriously impressed with the challengers' magic.
Gregory and Angela take the stage, where Gregory promises that he can teach even a lowly earthworm to be a pickpocket. He places a wallet on a table then dumps the jar of earthworms on top, commanding them to open the wallet - and magically, it does! Next, he makes the earthworms pull out a twenty dollar bill from inside the wallet.
Angela then has Judge Jason Latimer pick a word that's personal to him that he can spell; he chooses "cups." Angela writes this on a chalkboard. She then has Teller pick which of her mind-reading rubber duckies is the most talented; he chooses duck number five. She gives a dictionary to Jason and Gregory hands out confetti shooters to the entire audience. On the count of three, the audience shoots their confetti.
Gregory pulls a piece out of the air. On it are numbers indicating a page in the dictionary. When Jason goes to find the page, he discovers the page is missing entirely. Gregory then cuts open the mind-reading duck and reveals the missing dictionary page - with Jason's word "cups" highlighted on the page.
The Judges appreciated the nod to Penn and Teller's magic (the earthworms performing magic) and the creativity of the reveal at the end. All the Judges agreed the pacing was erratic at times. Ultimately, it was the challengers stunning use of confetti that predicted their routine's reveal from the moment they took the stage that wins over the Judges. Joseph and Naathan have beaten the Wizard Team and celebrate their $10,000 prize.