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Episode Recap: Puppy Love


On this week's Wizard Wars, the challengers must take an extra adorable everyday object and make magic happen. Host Ellen Fox introduces the two teams of challengers who'll compete for their chance to win $10,000.

First up is Murray Sawchuck, a semi-finalist on America's Got Talent, who once made an entire steam engine disappear. He's partnered with Rob Anderson, an award-winning close-up magician based in Las Vegas. They'll be competing against Eric Buss, who with his extensive background claims, "Wizard Wars is made for me." He's partnered with Mattias Ramos, a magician who blends slapstick comedy with his magic.

Ellen reveals the everyday objects the magicians must use for Round One: packing crates, dog treats and the most exciting item of them all: a puppy!

Murray and Rob get underway with their routine, by first making their puppy appear in a packing crate that seems to be filled with dog treats. They then place the puppy in a specially built doghouse. As Rob pulls the doghouse apart, the puppy has transformed into a full-grown dog. They then transform the dog back into the puppy in a special "dog shower" and then reveal the shower has been filled with crates full of dog treats.

While judges Christen and Jason loved their showmanship, they were less than wowed with the challengers basically using the same trick over and over (vanish/reveal) with different objects throughout their routine.

Mattias and Eric take to the stage with an elaborately set up story of a married couple shipping their "lion" (their puppy dressed in a cute lion costume) at the Magical Shipping Company. They each take a volunteer from the audience to help him out; a woman named Valerie to play the part of Eric's wife and another volunteer to play the part of Mattias' assistant at the shipping store.

First, Mattias must weight the lion. Eric places the puppy in a crate; Mattias' volunteer can't lift the crate no matter how hard he tries, while Eric lifts it with ease. The volunteer is baffled. Eric's assistant then writes her name and a randomly chosen name for their "lion" on both sides of a dog name-tag. They playfully transform a dog treat into "lion" food (a steak).

They pack the puppy into a box that, when turned over, shows it has magically disappeared - then Mattias reveals it's actually been transported to another box near the judges' table. Christen verifies that the magically transported puppy is the puppy they put in the box and it's wearing the same signed collar with its name. The judges loved every part of their routine and ultimately select their team to compete against the Wizard Team.

The Wizard Team decided on Justin Flom and Shimshi to compete against the challengers. Ellen reveals the next four everyday items they must incorporate into their routines: a kimono, a rainbow golf umbrella, a bag of hard candy, and an armoire.

As the magicians prepare, judge Jason Latimer mystifies the audience by seemingly shaping water into a semi-solid ball with his bare hands.

Eric and Mattias take to the stage for Round Two. They ask an audience member to think of a color (red), and Eric produces two green lollipops while Mattias pulls a red one out of his mouth. With a quick sleight of hand, Eric's two green lollipops have now turned into two red lollipops.

Their routine continues as Mattias balances the rainbow umbrellas in increasingly complex ways, including on top of a single lollipop. They finish by balancing the entire armoire itself on just two upright umbrellas. The judges praise their creativity and showmanship, but warn that a slick, deception performance by the Wizard Team might cost them the competition.

Justin of the Wizard Team takes the stage, wheeling in the armoire on a wheeled platform. He turns it around, showing the audience all four sides, as well as the inside, illuminating it with a work light. He places a garment bag inside and closes it. Upon reopening it, Shimshi appears - wearing the garment bag.

Their next trick is a prediction routine where they use a rainbow umbrella, dye, and an audience member to randomly pick a color (green). Shimshi unzips the garment bag to reveal that he's wearing a green kimono. They move from big magic to smaller, up close magic as Shimshi uses breath mints as Chinese linking rings while Justin uses a pair of headphones to pull a mint from out of his throat and through his neck - after he swallowed it.

The judges were impressed by the Wizard Team's high level of deception, but it was challengers Eric and Mattias who dazzled them more with their showmanship and storytelling on stage. Eric and Mattias celebrate as they get to take home the $10,000 prize.