NBC’s America’s Got Talent has always been a great stage for magicians to make a name for themselves. This season there have been some great ones as well, but only a couple have made as big an impression as Mat Franco, and this is why he is the seventh best audition act on America’s Got Talent this season. He did not just do card tricks, but told a story as he did so.
Franco had a great act that was not only illusion, but story telling at the same time. He just used a deck of cards and went to the judges table to perform his act. Usually acts like this do not succeed well on the show, because it is hard to do a big time show like this when the act is done in such a close, intimate way. This has even been a criticism of Howard Stern’s on other acts who have done this in previous years. However, Franco pulled it off.
Franco began to tell a story, and as he did he pulled out cards to accent the points he made. He called judge Howard Stern the king of media, and then turned over a king. He referred to both Heidi Klum and Mel B as queens and followed up his statement by turning over queens each time. Even for Howie Mandel, who he called his “favorite joker,” he was able to pull out a joker right afterward. It was a cool little show he was putting on, that really captivated the judges’ attention. Frequently they were heard oohing and aahing at his performance. He had the judges attention and was making himself one of the best seven acts on America’s Got Talent this season.
The show was not just pulling out the right card to tell his story. There were also some really cool magic tricks he added into the act. At one point he was giving the number of the address of where the theater was at, but did not have a zero in his deck to give the full number. That was ok, Franco pointed out, he would “just improvise,” and this is what he did. Rubbing his hand on a face card he turned it blank to represent the zero.
The act reached its most impressive point when he pointed out that the cards he used before did not really represent the judges well. He showed a king and laid it on the table upside down. He then pointed out that none of the judges were being properly depicted by the cards. He then turned over three cards that had pictures of Klum, Mel B and Mandel on them. Finally he turned over the card that had been a king before, and it had Stern’s face on it. This was the point that really brought out the amazement of the judges and the audience. They all four began to yell “Whoa” and “Oh my God.”
Mat Franco clearly set himself apart as one of the best seven acts of this upcoming season on America’s Got Talent and is well deserving of moving onto the next round in Vegas. He told the judges he has been doing magic since he was six, so fans can be sure he will have a lot more tricks up his sleeves.
Opinion by Nathan Sullivan