Oz Pearlman's favorite tricks of 2016
The 'America's Got Talent' finalist reveals his most memorable TV performances from this year.
It's been a big year for 34-year-old mentalist and magician Oz Pearlman. The Israeli-born finalist of "America's Got Talent" ran marathons, traveled all over the world with his act and even performed for Steven Spielberg. He and his wife Elisa also just welcomed their first child, Theo.
All the while, he continues to appear on television showing off his mad magic skills. As we head into November and the end of the year, we decided now would be a good time to look back at some of the magician's best TV performances of 2016. And why should we be the ones to choose? So we called up the ever-traveling Pearlman (who was, not surprisingly, on a train when we reached him) to ask him which tricks stood out for him this year.
Fun with recipes on 'Rachael Ray'
We'll start this list with his most recent television appearance, this week on Rachael Ray's show. The trick involved an audience member, a recipe book and a bottle of ketchup that somehow turned into a bottle of cinnamon. In the trick above, as with many of Pearlman's show stoppers, the performance included three tricks in one. It's a bit of a long trick, but stick around until the end and you'll be lifting your jaw up off the ground. "I was really proud of this one," he told From The Grapevine. "It was well put together. I knew I wanted to do something cooking related. There's nothing like pressure and procrastination to come up with something great. It was a lot things packed in fast."
Taylor Swift for president on the 'Today Show'
The grand finale of this trick had Al Roker randomly choosing a celebrity he'd like to see run for president. At first he said George Clooney, but then quickly changed his mind to Taylor Swift. Pearlman unbuttoned his shirt and revealed a Taylor Swift for President T-shirt underneath. We asked Pearlman what he would have done if Roker hadn't changed his mind and stuck with George Clooney. In a very un-magician like way, he revealed a secret: "I had George Clooney on my underwear!"
Hunting through iPhone contacts on 'Lunch Break'
While appearing on the Wall Street Journal's "Lunch Break" show, the mentalist stunned a reporter by guessing an iPhone contact from a list of thousands – not once, but twice. Pearlman bantered with host Tanya Rivero and asked her to choose a name from the thousands of contacts on her iPhone. "When we were shooting it, I told her to pick one, and she was searching forever," Pearlman said. But she eventually landed on someone with an odd spelling and an odd name – Katharina Plum. Not only did Pearlman figure it out, but for good measure he guessed a backup name the host had also thought of before the trick.
A Valentine's Day dream date on the 'Meredith Vieira Show'
For a special Valentine's Day episode of the "Meredith Vieira Show," Pearlman asked the host to pick a celebrity from a list of dozens. Who would she want to take on a dream date? Then he asked her to imagine what they would be doing on that date. Not only did he guess the correct movie star – actor Ryan Gosling – but he was also able to predict the exact details she had in mind for their dream vacation to the Mediterranean. "I reverse engineer it," Pearlman told us. "What would be incredible? And then I try to figure out a way to do it, and how to fool you with it."
Strange encounters on the 'Home & Family'
One of Pearlman's favorite TV appearances this year was on the Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" talk show. The episode – which aired this summer – involved card tricks, mentalism and a woman named Verna. It also included Pearlman helping a shocked Orly Shani recall a forgotten memory about her boyfriend from seventh grade. The magician fondly remembers this leisurely segment. "In that one, they said take eight or nine minutes and I was able to do a nice long piece," he told us. "It gives you a sense of what my actual show is like."
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