Phenomenon November 14, 2007  

Monday, November 19, 2007

I hope to get caught up on my television watching and show posting this week.

This week's episode starts with the announcement that there will be an unexpected twist later in the show. Then the five remaining contestants are lined up and the host announces who will be moving on next week.

Last Week's Results
I predicted that Angela, Mike, and Gerry would move on. Let's see how America voted. The first to move on is Angela. The next is Mike. There's something about Mike that bothers me, but I guess America likes him. The third won't be revealed until later in the show.

The celebrity guests are introduced and this week it's Tia Carrere, Dayna Devon, and Kim Kardashian.

This Week's Contestants
Angela was up first. Part of the lame introductions are back as they show her facing a broken mirror and giving a mysterious look. Then she gets down to hear act. She says as a medical student she's always been interested in crystals and the claim that they have different therapeutic qualities. (*sigh*)

Then she turns to her celebrity guest Dana and asks her if she can see her own birthstone in the line of 12 birthstone "crystals" that are hanging above a table. Dana looks, very obviously at each, before finally saying yes, she can. Angela asks Dana to put her hand on her (Angela's) back, just over her heart. Dana makes a comment about Angela being David Copperfield. Angela laughs and says, "Maybe Dana Copperfield". Huh huh huh.

Anyway, Angela runs her hands back and forth near the birthstones a few times before asking Dana if her birthstone is Amethyst. Dana says no. Angela asks again quickly if it's aquamarine and Dana says yes. A mistake? Maybe she was just watching which birthstone Dana seemed to "find" when she was looking for her own?

Angela then asked Dana to think of someone she knew and the birthstone for that person. She asked Dana to write down the name of that month. (Is this starting to sound familiar, like maybe her trick last week?) She moved behind Dana and put her hand on Dana's back over her heart and asked Dana to run her hand under the stones a couple of times. Then she predicted the stone was the diamond, or April's, which was correct.

Then Angela had Dana stand to the side with the stone cupped in her hand and took a Polaroid picture. She had Dana take the picture out of the camera so that it wasn't tampered with and put cup it in her hands. Angela put her hands over Dana's and they concentrated on that person. When Dana showed the picture to the audience it had the name "Brent" written on it, which was the person Dana was thinking about. Except, of course, we don't have any confirmation that it is the truth, but Dana did seem impressed.

Uri said that she failed to mystify.

Chriss said that she left out the audience in her trick and and although she had performed an intimate trick with Dana, she failed to connect to the audience.

Then they showed a quick, pre-taped card trick with Angela out on the street. She had someone cut a deck of cards and then put the first card in his right pocket and the second card in his left pocket. She then correctly guessed the two cards - the five of spades and jack of hearts.

Mike was up next. He said he was going to blind our minds. He then had the audience focus on his hand and snapped, saying he had hypnotized us into not seeing something.

He had three people in the audience write down three random four digit numbers. While they were doing that he had the three celebrity contestants Kim, Dana, and Tina come up into the "isolation cabana" and stare at "void space" between a square defined by velvet ropes (like the movie theater ropes and rope stands).

Then he unrolled the three sides of the cabana and asked the women to draw something on each of the three sides. He asked Tia to draw a picture of anything, he asked Dana to write a mode of transportation, and he asked Kim to draw the name of a color. The three women drew a green skull, the word motorcycle, and the color red. (This is starting to sound similar too, like his act two weeks previously).

Then he unrolled the fourth wall of the cabana, enclosing the inside completely. Written on the outside of the wall was skull, motorcycle, and red. I just don't believe that's coincidence. The women had to have been prompted at one point or another.

Then Mike took off the effects of hypno blindness and revealed a red motorcycle with a skull on the seat between the ropes in the cabana. Maybe the three women could see it when they looked between the ropes, but it was hidden from the audience and the camera. Anyway, he then added up the three numbers the audience wrote down and revealed it was 11,689. The license tag on the motorcycle was 11X689. Of course the guy could have totaled any set of numbers to 11,689 and no one in the audience would have been able to confirm without talking about it between themselves.

Chriss said that he was very likable and non-threatening and that he did pretty well.

Uri said that his mentalism and mind illusion was so good that he deserved to win.

For his card trick Mike asks for someone to select a card and then think of it. Then he says he had a dream the night before and shows a slip of paper indicating the six of cups. The person says that's not the right card. Mike says, well, maybe it's because there was fire in my dream. He puts a flame to the paper to heat it up and the text disappears until "ace of hearts" is the only thing left.

It looked pretty neat, but it also looked like a camera trick. But the street audience seemed pretty amazed.

Last Week's Results Continued
Then the three contestants that haven't performed are called to the stage - Eran, Gerry, and Guy. And Eran is through to the next round. He goes backstage to prepare for his act.

Then we're told that Guy and Gerry have not been eliminated. The twist is that Chriss and Uri can decide together to keep one. Both are to perform for the judges.

This Week's Contestants Continued
Eran asked Dana and Kim set three containers of different hazards up on an obstacle course (really just a long plank that ends with two mattresses). The tree items are razor blades, scorpions, and glass in the containers. He also asks Kim and Dana to select a mattress to have some stage hands move a bed of nails onto.

He then has Tia help him blindfold himself. He puts a coin over each eye and uses duct tape (it's black and shiny, more like wide electrical tape) to cover his eyes. Then he takes a blindfold and puts it over his eyes and turns his back to the audience so they can see Tia tying it. I think at this point he adjusts the tape and the blindfold so that he can see, because he definitely acts like he can see.

Then Tia guides him over to the steps that lead up to the plank. She leads him to the side of the first step and he hesitates and asks her if he's in front of it. She laughs nervously and leads him in front. Bingo! He can see. Then he tells her he needs to synchronize with her breathing. He tells her she must keep her breathing even for it to work, but she doesn't and he reminds her a couple of times.

Then he has her lead him up the stairs so that he's facing the plank with the three "obstacles". He steps across the plank in big stomping steps except when he starts to approach an obstacle. Then he scooches up to it and steps over it. It's so obvious that I'm laughing.

Finally he reaches the end without stepping on anything hazardous and faces the mattress with the bed of nails... and falls over backwards to the other mattress. As if we thought for one second that he'd pick the wrong one.

Chriss said that he needed to be more diverse.

Uri said that he was versatile, mesmerizing, and innovative.

His street trick wasn't a card trick. He asked a woman to think about the first person she kissed. Then he flicked her on the forehead causing her to yell out (or maybe he touched her and shocked her?). Then he guessed Daniel, which was correct.

Guy was the first to perform for the judges. He kissed up to Uri by talking about telekinesis and spoon bending. He had an array of spoons and forks on a table. Dana inspected them all during the commercial break and said they were all normal. He then had Dana select a spoon or a fork. She selected a spoon. He performed the spoon bending trick by placing it in his palm and rubbing the area where the spoon meets the handle to bend it.

He then had her select another and bent it by moving it very slightly back and forth in his hand very rapidly. Then he showed the spoon twisting and breaking apart. We've all seen Randi's explanation and I don't believe the spoons weren't tampered with somehow.

Then he revealed a stop sign and said he would go beyond the normal trick (was he picking on Uri) and had the audience concentrate on the sign and yell out in unison "bend". The sign bent, but Guy's movements weren't really in sync with the sign bending. Of course it seemed to me more like a person backstage hitting a switch and making it bend, but I could be wrong.

As the host started talking Guy ran over to the sign to bang on it with the spoon to show that it and the sign were really metal. Yeah, I believe it's metal, but your telekinesis is still not convincing.

The judges did not comment.

Gerry performed a trick with postcards. He had several set out on a table with the picture facing up. He then had Dana look at Tia and pick a city that Tia reminded her of and pick a landmark from that city. Then he asked Dana to draw the landmark and write the city name.

He took Tia over to the table and asked her to pick a postcard, any postcard. She picked the postcard of Paris. He showed most of the other postcards on the table an they were all blank. He then showed the back of the one she selected and it had a message for her.

Then he had Dana reveal the picture she had drawn and it was a picture of the Eiffel Tower. Then the audience revealed they had independently, on many cards, drawn a picture that if they were put together and turned toward the ceiling was the same Eiffel Tower drawing that Dana had drawn. Urgh! I don't believe it. It seemed cheap.

Chriss revealed that he and Uri had selected Guy because Guy had really stepped it up with his act. After seeing Gerry's trick I think they had no choice.

Then the host said that Chriss was giving everyone in America a chance to guess what was in his envelope, the one he asked Jim Callahan to guess about. And Jim will be on the show next week, supposedly, to guess.

There's a forum post about it over at the Phenomenon board, but since the moderator states,

Personally I find the repeated insistance by several of you that spirit communication is impossible just as offensive as some of you might my disrespecting your belief in your god.

I'm not going to hold my breath for any skepticism or objectivity.

Related Posts
Phenomenon October 24, 2007
Phenomenon October 31, 2007
Phenomenon November 7, 2007

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