Fight on Phenomenon!

Last week you may remember I watched phenomenon with eye out for Uri Geller’s nonsense, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Criss Angel playing the skeptic pretty well.

Well this week’s was awesome! Jim Callahan does a pretty cheesy psychic bit, with some really terrible acting, and it’s so bad that Angel calls him out. Angel starts demanding he (or Geller) show real psychic ability and if he did he’d give him a million dollars. It ends up with them being physically separated – check it out!

Some spoilers below the fold.

The rest of the mentalism gags this week were more of the same. Instead of “find the loaded nail-gun” it was “find the knife in the tube”, making things float – essentially modifications of the floating cigarette trick. One guy pulled a pretty cheesy stunt of supposedly stopping his heart.

This is a simple gag that anyone can do – all you have to do is hide a knot in your armpit or some other hard object. When you want to stop your pulse you compress the brachial artery using the knot by pressing your arm against your torso. Amuse your friends, scare your doctor etc., it’s a blast.

Some of the early tricks were given away too but the absolute worst was Geller pulling his psychic shtick for what was clearly a simple mathematical trick. You were told to select a planet, then spell it’s name moving around to other planets – yada yada – the point is that things were arranged in such a way that no matter where you started, you ended on the same planet. Second worst was definitely the cheesy seance that Angel attacks so ferociously, but Geller is such a hack, and just such a poor performer it was a close call. After all, why bother with psychic mumbo-jumbo when the trick is so obviously just a mathematical gag?

My favorite was Wayne Hoffman for sure, because he actually tattoos his trick to his arm, and then gets Miss America to draw it. He then explains the trick, which was pretty simple. He just made sure she saw the image he wanted to draw (he hid it in plain sight in her dressing room), and then suggested it to her using language tricks. It was pretty good, and if it shows up on youtube I’ll put it up.

Anyway, more fun on Phenomenon, let’s hope Angel ends the series by punching Geller in the face, he clearly wants to. The mere possibility of it now has me hooked on the show.