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Episode Recap: Fire and Mice


Wizard Wars is back, with more magic, intrigue and on-stage mayhem. Tonight's challengers include Chicago-based magicians Bill Cook, a three-time winner of the World Magic Seminar and David Shareef, a mentalist and sleight of hand artist who's been dubbed "the Muhammad Ali of magic." They face off against magicians Greg Dow, a performer with a wild sense of humor on stage and Sean Scott, a magician with over twenty-five years of experience, for a chance at a $10,000 prize if they can survive tonight's Wizard War.

Host Ellen Fox reveals the three everyday objects both teams must use in their first routines of the night: a tiki torch, a tennis racquet and balls, and mice.

First up, it's Bill and David, or as they call themselves, Team Bake and Shake. David opens the routine by making a tennis ball rise from the ground on its own into his hand. Bill then heads out into the audience, borrowing an audience member's ring. He wraps it in a piece of paper and is about to light it on fire when David performs an impromptu male stripper routine and rips off his pants (to reveal shorts underneath). David then grabs the tennis racquet as Bill lights the paper on fire and throws it at David: the ring is now magically caught in the strings of the racquet. The astonished audience member confirms that yes, it's her ring - but she's not really sure how she's going to get it off the racquet now.

Bill and David move onto their next trick, a classic cups and balls routine with a twist--they use the tiki torches as cups. In a fun twist, they light their ball on fire, as Bill deftly maneuvers it in his hands while on fire, then makes it appear - still on fire - beneath the tiki torch. David then remembers about the woman's ring, cuts it from the racquet, and then makes it disappear entirely. Bill then reveals the "secret" of their flaming cups and balls trick: they trained a mouse to light matches. They lift up the torch once more to reveal a live mouse, and the woman's ring tied to the mouse with a ribbon.The Judges loves their routine, praising Bill and David for their creativity and thinking outside of the box.

Next up on stage are challengers Greg and Sean. Greg gets things off to a hot start by pulling a lit tiki torch from a bag of chips. Meanwhile Sean produces the racquet from behind a cloth. Their third item is mysteriously missing. Greg announces they tried to buy tennis balls, but only have the tennis ball can lid. He tosses it on the floor and Sean steps on it, lifting his foot to reveal the can of tennis balls.

Greg then places one of the balls onto Sean's racquet; as he shakes it, the audience watches in amazement as the ball drops through the strings and onto the floor. Sean places it back on the racquet where Greg momentarily turns the tiki torch into a flame thrower, scorching the tennis ball and transforming it into a black eight ball. Greg then has Judge Jason Latimer sign his initials on one of the tennis balls, which they they cheekily attempt to auction off on stage. The ball is placed in a small collector's case. Sean is then blindfolded and made to identify animal crackers just by eating them. After correctly guess two, Greg pulls out the final shape to guess: a live mouse. Sean "eats" the mouse, then reveals he's allergic to mice. Greg grabs the signed tennis ball from the case and performs the "Serena Williams Heimlich maneuver" on Sean, making his hand - still clutching the tennis ball - push through Sean's stomach. Greg has Judge Jason Latimer confirm that it's still his initials on the ball. In one final twist, Greg performs one last mind-blowing trick: he gently cuts the tennis ball open to reveal the live mouse, perfectly safe and sound.

The Judges were thoroughly impressed with their non-stop tricks: creative, never-before-seen, and beautifully executed. It's their artistry that advances Greg and Sean to the next round to face off against Team Wizard: escape artist Billy Kid and stage illusionist Shimshi. Ellen reveals the four everyday objects our advancing team and Team Wizard will need to use in their final beach-themed battle on stage: a surfboard, a beach ball, seashells, and a cooler. As the two teams head off-stage to prepare, Team Wizard sleight of hand magician Gregory Wilson takes the stage.

Greg and Sean take the stage for their routine at "Mystery Beach." They have an audience member pick out a colored shell from a bag at random; she picks red. Sean takes the beach ball and places it under a beach towel, lifting it up to reveal a now red beach ball. Greg then tosses the ball into the audience; the man who catches it then writes his name on the red sea shell. The shell is then placed in the mouth of a skull (the former owner of Mystery Beach) and set aside in plain view. Greg calls up an audience member while Sean takes the surfboard. The audience member skips her hand under Sean's and they lift up the surfboard together, seemingly defying gravity. Greg then places a cube of dry ice in his mouth - because, why not? - and makes the red shell from earlier transform into a piece of ice. He then takes out a bag of ice from the cooler. They smash it apart with a hammer to reveal the red shell, audience member's initials in tact.

The Judges were impressed by the tricks overall, but thought their first routine had a lot more showmanship and luster. Billy and Shimshi take the stage on "Wizard Beach," where Billy has brought her laptop. She opens it to reveal a desktop background of shells (she's "surfing the net") then turns it upside-down, seashells pouring from it. They go to select an audience member at random by kicking the beach ball into the audience; Billy kicks it, then realize she's kicked off her shoe. An audience member picks up the ball and Billy's shoe is actually inside the ball! Shimshi has an audience member write her initials on a shell, and she then holds his wrist so nothing can go up his sleeve. He lights the shell on fire through his hand, and it vanishes. After a seashore themed tongue twister, the shell is revealed to be tied to Shimshi's shoe. Billy and Shimshi reveal they have a pair of magic coolers that act as portals to one another. When the audience doesn't buy it, Shimshi then borrow's Teller's watch and stands across the theatre, reaching into an urn. His hand magically appears on stage reaching for Teller's watch that Billy dangles over the cooler. He grabs it, pulls his hand back and Teller confirms the watch is his. For one final trick, Billy and Shimshi lift the surfboard together. Billy holds it up from her end at an awkward angle as Shimshi steps onto it, providing a show-stopping feat of strength illusion to end their routine. Despite Greg and Sean's innovation, it was the clean execution of the Wizard Team that earns their win tonight.