Eric Chien returns to the America’s Got Talent stage on Tuesday, September 3 to compete in the live semifinals round of competition. The magician has stunned the judges, audience, and viewers at home with his close-up tricks, which, to the untrained eye, really do seem to be magic.
Although it takes some of the fun out of watching a magic act once you know how the magician is executing his tricks, many America’s Got Talent fans have been completely stumped by Eric Chien’s acts and therefore want to know just how he’s been getting away with the performances he’s produced on stage. If you’re one of those people, here’s what we were able to uncover:
Eric Chien’s Magic Tricks Have Been Explained by Other Card Trick Magicians Online
Youtube account CardShuffler99, who has over 189,000 subscribers on Youtube, has broken down the skill behind several of Eric Chien’s acts.
Before explaining the magic tricks Chien used in his audition, they preface their “reveal” by saying there’s no proof that their ideas about Chien’s magic tricks are actually what he’s executing, and that everything in the debunking video are just theories. The complete 10-minute explanation video is viewable above.
To explain the color-changing cards, CardShuffler99 suggests that the top half of Chien’s deck (the part he reveals to the audience) is red cards, while the bottom half is a hidden stack of blue cards. By doing deals and bottom deals on either side of the table’s string divider, Chien would be able to use sleight of hand and the top of his act to set up half of the table as blue cards and the other half as red cards.
As for Chien’s coin tricks, executed during the judge cuts round, CardShuffler99 says that is also sleight of hand at work, but that there were likely magnetic coins and shells in use to aid Chien in the close-up magic act. He adds that, when Chien first performed the act on Asia’s Got Talent, the microphone picked up the sound of the magnets clicking together throughout the act.
That complete breakdown of the judge cuts performance is available on Youtube here.
Eagle-Eyed Viewers Have Spotted Errors During Chien’s ‘Sleight of Hand’ Acts
While Chien’s acts have certainly been impressive, and the character he takes on during his performance adds to the show’s overall quality, he has not been completely flawless in his execution. Seeking explanations for his tricks, fans have picked up on a number of clues as to how some of his tricks are done.
Reddit user u/Keepmeclean0 pointed out a small mistake in one of Chien’s tricks, where he magically produces a pile of coins in a previously-empty wooden box. In side-by-side photos, they point out the difference in the grain on the lid of the wood, suggesting there was a trap door that released the coins into the body of the box while it was closed. You can compare the photos for yourself here.
CardShuffler99 recommended slowing down Chien’s audition video to .25 speed. He says that, when you watch his trick where the taped outlines of playing cards seemingly appear out of nowhere slowed down, you can actually see that the image is an electronic one programmed within the black mat because the image pops up before Chien has “thrown” the taped outline down onto the table.
Tune in to new episodes of America’s Got Talent, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 8/7c on NBC.