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What Went Wrong — and Right — During Anna DeGuzman’s Act on AGT Fantasy League
24-year-old magician Anna DeGuzman had some impressive tricks up her sleeve, but some of her comments didn't land well for one of the Got Talent Judges.
The New Jersey cardist — part of Judge Howie Mandel’s Dream Team — abandoned her attempts at big-stage magic and stuck to the close-up magic that initially advanced her to the America’s Got Talent Season 18 Finals. Mandel wondered if scaling back the magic would be a risky move, but as they say, “no risk, no reward.”
“Magic is still a male-dominated industry, and I think winning would really cement the fact that I’m reinventing the image of a magician,” DeGuzman said of her goals in the competition.
What Did Anna DeGuzman Do for Her AGT: Fantasy League Semifinals Act?
DeGuzman was visibly nervous taking the AGT stage, where she had Mandel and Judge Mel B join her on stage to participate in her card-manipulating act. The performer showcased a few head-scratching card shuffles, then had her “beautiful assistant,” Mandel, shuffle the standard playing deck once more.
DeGuzman presented Host Terry Crews’ wallet, which she jokes she lifted backstage, and drew five single-dollar bills. She asked Mandel to place his hand over the money before the cash emitted smoke and magically turned into bills of a higher denomination, impressing everyone in the room.
It was then time for Mel B to play along, and to Simon Cowell’s (hilarious) dismay, she missed the mark when having to count cards. Later, when asked whether it was a one-dollar or $100 bill in her hand, she picked a twenty, leaving Cowell doing some serious facepalming.
“It’s OK, you’re pretty,” DeGuzman jokingly told Mel B, which wasn’t atypical of the 24-year-old’s slightly caustic humor. But it didn’t seem to land well with Judge Heidi Klum, who called the comment “rude.”
Mel B didn’t seem to mind as DeGuzman continued, matching the money’s serial number with the cards left with Mandel.
What did Anna DeGuzman say about Mel B?
Toward the latter part of the Act, DeGuzman had Mel B read out the first letter of her bill’s serial number. After the Judge called out the number three, DeGuzman said, “Wow, you can read,” which, again, didn’t land well for some (especially Klum and spectators).
Of course, DeGuzman was “just kidding” and continued with her impressive magic. Mel B was particularly impressed and later admitted that the offhanded comments went over her head.
Cowell confessed he was “not so sure” Mel B was the perfect choice for DeGuzman’s assistant, and the performer joked she “should have picked Heidi” instead, another comment met with boos.
Judge Klum said she didn’t love the card tricks as much as she did in the past.
“It was a lot of talking, and also, some of the talking you said, I also didn’t love so much,” Klum offered. “What you said to Mel, that kind of hurt me a little bit. I really, really like you, and that did not make me like you so much.”
Mel B didn’t take offense to DeGuzman’s comments, though, and the magician took it on the chin and said she was sorry. Cowell also came to the magician’s defense.
“To be fair, I do think Anna was kidding around,” said Cowell, adding that Mel B didn’t make for “the best assistant in the world.”
Mel B loved DeGuzman’s magic up close, and she and the contestant had some love-filled back-and-forth. Mandel also called the DeGuzman’s magic “amazing,” but for Cowell and Klum, the performance just didn’t have that wow factor, and the reveal felt a little lackluster.
Backstage, DeGuzman said she succumbed under pressure but hoped to advance to the next round. Unfortunately for DeGuzman, it would be Loren Allred and Golden Buzzer winners Aidan Bryant and Kodi Lee moving into the Finals.
Fans can be sure that at just 24 years old, Anna DeGuzman still has plenty of magic up her sleeve to share with the world.