Americas Psychic Challenge November 9, 2007  

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome to the Quarter Finals! The four contestants this week were Jackie (Bowl Cut), Zenobia (Xena), Lynn, and Silvana. The three tasks were finding fear behind five closed doors, psychically diagnosing two people, and reading the scene of a crime.

Task #1: Finding Fear
For this task the psychics were given ten minutes to find the person in fear behind five doors. Five sheds were set up with a door and no roof. Inside five people were participating in activities. Four were participating in relaxing activities (drawing, receiving a massage, painting finger nails, and something else I can't remember). One person was facing her fear, sticking her hand in a glass aquarium with roaches. Eeek! That would have not been something I could do. She was gagged, but you could still hear her muffled screams. The camera didn't show her screaming when the psychics were there, but it's possible that she made some fearful noises.

Lynn was up first. She listened at each door and then confidently chose door 4, which had the fearful woman behind it. She earned 25 points.

Silvana was next and she seemed nervous and all over the place. She said 3, 2, or 1 at first, but then finally chose door #2, which was not the fearful participant. She was awarded 0 points.

Zenobia went third and mentioned she felt the sensation of creepy crawlies and on a woman. She selected door #1, which was the one with the man getting a massage. Maybe the lady giving him the massage was getting the creepy crawlies from touching the man? Well, probably not. She was awarded 0 points.

Jackie was last and walked around acting like she didn't care. Then she said either 2 or 4 and looked at the host a few times as she questioned 2 or 4. Then she selected #4, which was correct. That's just cold reading in my opinion. She was awarded 25 points.

Task #2: Diagnose Patients
For this task the psychics had to diagnose the medical conditions of two patients, an older man in not the best shape and a younger, attractive woman. They received points for a correct diagnosis as well as for listing the symptoms the patients suffered. The conditions were diabetes and Crohn's disease.

The judge was a clinical research scientist, Dr. Jewell. She watched video of the psychics diagnosing the symptoms from another room. The task was worth 25 points.

Zenobia was first. She described a swollen neck and some kind of pain up and down the back in the first man. The woman she mentioned had something wrong with her circulation, was tired, hurt, needed three surgeries, and was taking too many medications.

Dr. Jewell gave her a hit on the back, mentioning sensory neuropathy. I'm not familiar with sensory neuropathy and didn't realize it was a part of diabetes, but the doctor was very impressed. She was also impressed with the symptoms she named for the woman and the fact that she mentioned three surgeries since the woman had three surgeries and was diagnosed three years ago. She was awarded 19 points.

Lynn went next. About the man she said phrases like ankle, feet, bones, aching, and podiatry. For the woman she diagnosed pregnancy - a baby boy. Dr. Jewell was not impressed and gave her 7 points, mostly for the aching ankles. Afterwards Lynn admitted she had completely missed on both of them.

Silvana was next and again was fast talking all over the place. For the man she mentioned liver, swollen feet, something on the right side, hepatitis, prostate, virus, not exercising or eating right, and diabetes. For the woman she pointed to her shoulder and her knees and said it was between there and there, pain, cancer, and cyst.

Dr. Jewell wasn't impressed and awarded her 12 points because she mentioned diabetes, but said she didn't deserve more because she also mentioned hepatitis and prostate problems. Silvana was upset and thought she deserved more for saying diabetes. The doctor stuck by her score, which I thought was entirely too high. She almost got half the points for mentioning diabetes in with a bunch of other things? Silvana complained more before we moved on.

Jackie was last and started out by saying she wasn't here to win as she casually, creepily walked around the patients. For the man she said diabetes, kidney, exercise, and urine. For the woman she said uterus, heavy bleeding, acid in the esophagus, then she sort of hit on the woman, I think. The host asked her if she had more to which Jackie said, "the full Jackie will blow you away," but since she wasn't trying to win she was OK with her diagnosis.

The doctor was somewhat impressed with the diagnosis of the man and gave her 15 points.

The problem with this task is that diabetes would be the first thing I'd guess about the man. He doesn't look like he exercises or eats healthy. The woman is much harder and Crohn's disease is not as well known. And, as expected, the psychics did much better with their diagnosis of the man than the woman.

Task #3: Crime Scene
The last task was to read the scene of a crime. A firefighter was there recounting what had happened. It was at the Palomar Hotel. I did a quick search on the Palomar Hotel arson found found several entries about a fire, insurance fraud, and the death of the woman in the fire. This wasn't a little-known event, but pretty well know. I call BS on this task as it's likely that some of the psychics had heard about it or read up about crimes in the area.

Also, the fireman was there to judge each contestant and was visibly still upset by the events that transpired. Cold reading definitely came into play. The psychics had 30 minutes to convince him that they're psychic. There were three things they could not ask about - the fireman's education, career, or what happened.

Silvana went first. She started by asking when it happened. The host said that it wasn't a question she could ask, that she should tell them. She mentioned the crime was premeditated, and as a result of greed. She also kept talking about the man's brother, which the show gave her a hit on because there was a brother-in-law involved in the crime. The fireman seemed annoyed and at one point told her, "I don't have a brother." On the roof she mentioned falling, that someone was pushed and choked. The show gave her a hit because a woman fell from the third story window before she could be rescued (obviously not pushed) and because she choked on smoke (but she wasn't choked by a man like Silvana implied). I certainly wasn't impressed.

Zenobia was next. She saw two people arguing and said the fireman saw it and tried to help, but he couldn't and he was sad because of it. She kept reassuring him that there wasn't anything he could have done. Then she mentioned a young woman and kids and used the letters L & M and once she saw that she had hit on something mentioned that she was hearing a lullaby and a lot of loud, chaotic noises. The two children rescued, whose mother died were Miguel and Lobita (or something like that), so she was able to make an impact on the fireman with the letters and the lullaby.

Jackie went third and started out with a little wink talking about how she was the white serpent and that this was her temple, or some such nonsense. She's really annoying. She said that the fireman was a cop and that whatever it was started on the third floor. Then she mentioned something about someone going off the roof and a young woman and asked the host and the fireman how those two things were connected. Neither answered her and she said she was done.

Lynn was last. She got very emotional right away and started crying, saying she'd been sad all day. She immediately started mentioned images of a fire, sirens, police, and a disaster. She said the building had been rebuilt (well, it was remodeled), and then she mentioned a child being trapped, crying and screaming. She said when she was a child she had a dream that someone told her there was going to be a fire. Then two hours she woke up and there was a fire. She said she could empathize with the children because they were like her.

The Results
The points were revealed in the end. Lynn received 36 points for her recitation of the events, the highest awarded to anyone to date, for a total of 68 points. She was ecstatic and asked all the women for a hug. Jackie said she didn't give hugs away for free, which miffed Lynn.

So Lynn moves on to the semi-finals. Silvana only received 15 points for mentioning that someone was pushed and choked, which gave her a total of 27 points, not enough to move on.

The last spot was between Jackie and Zenobia. Zenobia only had 19 points going in, which was well behind Jackie's 40. For Zenobia's account she recieved 26 points, mainly for saying the letters M & L. So Jackie needed at least 5 point to tie, but she said very little to the fireman. Would she move on? Well, of course. No one ever gets less than a 7 on these tasks, which my husband pointed out, and that's exactly what she got, 7 points, bringing her total to 47.

Both Lynn and Silvana expressed unhappiness that Jackie made it to the semi-finals. Silvana made a quip about it not being "America's Pshycho Challenge." Zenobia was happy for Jackie.

Viewer Participation
At each commercial break they show items and ask the viewers to use their psychic powers to determine the outcome. So how did I do this week?

At the first break they showed a man getting on the elevator and asked which floor he would select: 2, 3, or G. Since he was clearly getting on from the third floor, I selected 2. And I was right! Maybe my psychic powers are returning to me.

At the second break an older couple was shown sitting in the park, snuggling and kissing. The show asked how long they had been married - 1, 15, or 35 years. I selected 1 because they were very affectionate. Not like they couldn't be at 15 or 35, but it's less likely. And I was correct again.

At the third break a man was running and came to an intersection. The show asked which way he would run: left, right, or straight. Since he was jogging in place at the intersection it should be straight or right since both require that he cross the intersection, right? Why else stop? Of course I was wrong that time and he veered out into the street left. Why go into the street rather than follow the sidewalk? Is the show actively trying to trip me up??

That makes my total for tonight 2 out of 3, or 9 out of 15 total. Not too shabby, but still not good enough to be psychic.

Tune in for next week where the winners from the second two episodes (M.W., Jeff, Joseph, and Michelle) face off against each other.

Related Posts
Americas Psychic Challenge October 12, 2007
Americas Psychic Challenge October 19, 2007
Americas Psychic Challenge October 26, 2007
Americas Psychic Challenge November 2, 2007
Americas Psychic Challenge November 16, 2007
Americas Psychic Challenge November 23, 2007

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10 comments: to “ Americas Psychic Challenge November 9, 2007

  • mamacita chilena
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 4:54:00 PM CST  

    Jackie probably just walked around by door #2 and 4 a few times to see which one she heard noises coming out of...

    Silvana mentioned like every illness an old man could possibly have, he bound to have one of those!

    Jackie said she didn't give hugs away for free-I am just imagining these "psychics" in my head...they sound hilarious!

    Fascinating post, as always.

  • ordinarygirl
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 5:21:00 PM CST  

    Denialism blog has a cool article up about psychics, cold reading, and criminal cases.

    It's located at:

  • Venjanz
    Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 11:55:00 PM CST  

    Hold up... This is a TV show?

  • ordinarygirl
    Friday, November 16, 2007 at 6:22:00 AM CST  

    venjanz: Yep, it's on Lifetime (that should give you a clue) on Fridays at 8:00 CT, I think.

    And my post above, the article at denialism blog is just about criminal profilers and cold reading. It list a bit about the BTK killer that sounds just like a psychic reading.

  • Kelly Gorski
    Friday, November 16, 2007 at 8:10:00 AM CST  

    OG: Doesn't Lifetime also have that other psychic with the British accent and funky hair? She's not on the show you're talking about, is she? I can't remember her name off the top of my head.

    As for this show, it's appalling people still believe this tripe. However, the closer one is to an emotionally traumatic event, the more one is willing to create relationships where they don't exist. A show like this, however, forces "psychics" to step away from the emotionally traumatic and traumatized and face reality: coincidence, luck, and probability are about as psychic as it gets.

  • ordinarygirl
    Friday, November 16, 2007 at 8:28:00 AM CST  

    Kelly: I think you're talking about Lisa Williams? Yeah, she's something like Lifetime's resident psychic. She was a celebrity participant in the first show. The psychics had a test where they had to try to guess details about her from the other side of a wall. Rebecca Watson has a good description of the task up at her site (linked from my post about the first episode).

    I think there's something about our mental makeup that looks for patterns and and explanations. It can trick us into believing stuff like this, just like an optical illusion can trick us. But if you really analyze the events you find it's no more than coincidence.

  • G-man
    Saturday, November 17, 2007 at 5:07:00 AM CST  

    You should search for Derren Brown on youtube. He's a British hypnotist/illusionist - a total skeptic too, so on google videos you can see a longer show he did where he sort of demonstrated the tricks psychics use. It's awesome.

  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:37:00 AM CST  

    Ok lets be real here. The reason for Silvana being drained was because she was being threatened by negative energy. The psychics were exposed to one anotehrs energy. Any smart person would know that a highly senstive person should not be able to come into contact with others energies. That was not part of the challenge. The only reason Lynn did so well was because Silvana being the real deal. Well Silvana left prints behind so Lynn did well. Yes they were friends but still. Lifetime was dumb to take a real psychic off. Make a comback Silvana come back to us and show them. Silvana will be know

  • Anonymous
    Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:37:00 AM CST  

    What is sad is viewers on this board seemed to think I was Silvana. I wish I had time to even be Silvana let alone am I her. you see the only reason I posted what I posted is because I have a heart. And because Silvana came to me at a very critical time in my life. To put it bluntly I was really sick and thanks to Silvana wanting to coach me and work with me through the pain of being ill I came out ok. along the way I talked with another person that had been with Silvana and had her advice and I found out that Silvana had saved her life. Well in so many ways Silvana saved my life also. That is why all the comments. she literally came into my life and told me things noone could ever know. and the thing is she is soo accurate that noone knew any of this nor could they have told her because I was the only one that talked to her no friends did. I guess what I am saying is I am sure Silvana has had a rough road. And I feel she deserves the best treatment yet because it is my understanding that she has really REALLY had it rough with a death and more coming on. I just want to say a thank you to one person who reached out to me not so long ago when I was very sick. and thank her from the bottem of my heart to keep going. She has enstilled faith to people who are sick in the hospital with cancer even. This was more like I was always drained and her sessions really helped me to rise above it. Really people Lifetime found the real deal with silvana and then they took her off. then people here are making comments that are not right at all. because this woman has been through alot and probaly only survived thanks to the grace of God and his angels. Silvana thank you for being you thank you for touching the world and thank you for being a real psychic. So many are fakes and you are fixing their lives. Look out world here comes Silvana more powerful than ever. Silvana is truely angelically blessed thank you from the bottem of my heart may she be blessed in all ways and lifetime and others see this thank you for being you hugs silvana

  • redflag
    Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:46:00 AM CST  

    ordinarygirl / abnormal
    YOU r so outta ur mind u r not even ok enough to be placed in a mental institution
    i worked on APC and the show is nothing on TV like it was in real life.
    The psychics order of appearance in every challenge was edited for entertainment purposes. SILVANA Only went first at the JANIS JOPLIN Reading, also, Lynn was Attacked 3 minutes b4 the fire crime scene and Silvana Was the one to call the police and try to clam her down. Lynn then went and did the fire crime scene and the reason she was crying is cuz some $%@# just put a gun to her head off set, and She was a mess
    Its REALITY here
    Not the show
    oh and the best psychics on there were really accurate and gifted and were taken off the show early (first 3 episodes)
    Its so sad how Fools like u believe everything they see
    Had a reading lately?


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