Mentalist Oz Pearlman stuns judges on 'America's Got Talent: The Champions'
Why wait until tonight's show to see his jaw-dropping performance? You can watch it here in its entirety.
Just when you thought Oz Pearlman couldn't top himself, think again.
The 37-year-old Israel-born magician and mentalist, who came in third place in 2015 on "America's Got Talent," has been invited back to the show that made him famous. "AGT: Champions," now airing on NBC, brings together some of the runners-up from the American edition as well as winners from the series' international versions like 'Norway's Got Talent' and 'Myanmar's Got Talent.' In total, 40 previous contestants are competing. Pearlman will appear on tonight's episode along with nine other performers. Only four will advance to the semi-final round.
To get people excited about the episode, NBC chose to release an advance video of one of the performances – Pearlman's mind-bending trick, which you can watch above in its entirety. "America's Got Talent turned my life upside-down, and I want to savor every moment," Pearlman told the crowd, as he received a standing ovation.
Pearlman knew what he wanted to do with his life since he was 13 years old and saw a magician perform on a cruise ship during a family vacation. "I borderline stalked him around the cruise," Pearlman told us during a podcast interview in 2018. "Kids are very malleable and I caught the bug." He eventually took a job on Wall Street, working for Merrill Lynch to pay the bills. Unhappy and unfulfilled, he quit his steady gig and started performing at restaurants and wherever he could. "It's a game of repetition," he explained. "You learn every single time, you iterate how to get a little better each time and you learn how to perform. It's the 10,000 hours rule."
His third-place finish on season 10 of "America's Got Talent" even shocked him. "It's very humbling because it's one of those things where you think you're good, but you don't know what other people think."
Pearlman received the call in the fall that he was invited back to perform on the 'Champions' edition. Unlike the regular seasons, which are aired live, 'Champions' was pre-taped before Christmas. As you'll see from tonight's performance, he came to win. His tricks often involve multiple layers and shock the audience not just at the end with a big reveal, but with several tricks throughout the single performance.
So how does he come up with such elaborate ideas? "A lot of it is when I'm running," said Pearlman, who came in 88th place at the most recent New York Marathon. "One thing I recommend more than anything in today's day and age, we're always on screens. We're scared to be alone in our own brains. I don't know what you can do. For me it's running, I will go out and run and I just think. And my mind goes in a million different directions."
What's next for the mentalist? The Manhattan-based father of two performs hundreds of shows each year and is constantly traveling. In March, you can expect him to make his annual prediction for which college basketball teams will end up in the Final Four. He's gotten it correct each year.
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