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NBC Insider America's Got Talent

How Anna DeGuzman Finished Her Historic Act Despite the "Unpredictable" Judges

The AGT 18 Act nearly didn't go as planned when Simon, Heidi, Howie, and Sofia antics led to "the most uncontrolled magic you'll ever see".

By McKenzie Jean-Philippe

Following Anna DeGuzman's charming audition (which she confessed nearly didn't work out in the end) the magician and "cardistry" expert made America’s Got Talent history by becoming the first female close-up magician to advance to AGT Live Shows.

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Watch America’s Got Talent Tuesdays at 8/7c on NBC and next day on Peacock

"That's kind of a big deal," she said during September 12's episode. "I'm here to inspire more young girls because I didn't have a female magician role model when I was getting started."

DeGuzman continued to break barriers during the fourth Live Results Show of Season 18, when she was advanced into the week's Top 2 alongside Chibi Unity via America's Vote. We'll now see her compete in the September 25 Finale as a member of the season's Top 11.

"My mom, she's why I do all of this. My mom raised me by herself and worked really hard to give me the best that she could, and now I wanna win AGT so I can give back to her," she said.

Read on for a recap of DeGuzman's Live Show performance, and how like her audition, it nearly didn't  go as planned.

What happened during Anna DeGuzman's Live Show card trick

Anna Deguzman holding cards during her act on America's Got Talent.

For her second performance on AGT, DeGuzman invited all four Judges on the stage to participate in her performance, resulting in a Live Act that could have been derailed by their hilarious antics.

DeGuzman had each of them pick a card from her deck, and tasked them with remembering it. The only problem? All of the Judges, save for Heidi Klum, had trouble recalling which card they picked as DeGuzman revealed them to the audience. Simon Cowell initially said the 7 of Clubs instead of the 3 of Diamonds. ("Oh my gosh, you're terrifying," the magician joked.) Cowell then incorrectly translated Sofia Vergara's card as the Ace of Spades instead of the Ace of Clubs, and Howie initially said his card was the 7 of Clubs instead of the 7 of Spades.

Suffice it to say, there was a lot going happening on the stage, but DeGuzman still successfully completed her card tricks, ultimately pulling Howie's out of a cake for her grand finale.

"The Judges are unpredictable, but that's why we have them," DeGuzman tells NBC Insider. "It's to make sure that the magic is real and authentic, and I think it just goes to show that something can go wrong... I think what is real for me is that in theory we're supposed to know how everything works, but what makes it fun as a performer is having spectators who are seeing it for the first time. Reliving the magic for the first time and getting that sense of wonder back because that's what keeps it exciting to perform." 

She continued, "This was the most uncontrolled magic you've ever seen, but I hope everyone loved it."

What the Judges thought of Anna DeGuzman

Anna DeGuzman appears on stage wearing a purple dress during America's Got Talent.

Howie Mandel: "Wow. I loved what you did, you were adorable. I love your presentation, I love your mother. I don't know if you know this about me: I'm lactose intolerant, so I didn't want to touch that."

Heidi Klum: "We need more female magicians, that's all I can say. OK? We need more female magicians. I also have to say it's amazing how you did this because you were so incredibly nervous. I could see your hands. But you were incredible. I also love the way you spoke, you kept us all engaged. I really like you."

Sofia Vergara: "It was super fun to be there with you, to see what you were doing. You started super, super nervous but then you started easing into it and your personality was showing. I think you have a big career ahead of you."

Simon Cowell: "I love, love, love your personality. You chose the worst assistants on the planet and still were brilliant, and you really deserve this shot. Good for you."

What's next for Anna DeGuzman

Anna Deguzman Performs Her Most SURPRISING Card Magic! | Qualifiers | AGT 2023 | NBC

With DeGuzman advancing to the Finale — and competing in the Top 11 alongside Chibi Unity,  MurmurationPutri ArianiMzansi Youth ChoirAhren BelisleLavender Darcangelo, and Adrian Stoica & Hurricane — she continues to take her historic turn on AGT seriously and hopes she's able to inspire viewers.

"Not just someone trying to do magic but someone who does anything that they stick with," she tells us. "They can do anything, even the impossible, and I personally think that the next greatest magician is going to be a woman."

She also already has plans for what she hopes will be her $1million performance.

"If we make it to the finals, and God willing I pray for it everyday. I've never wanted anything more in my life," she said. "I think the Finals will be even better. If you like this one, if you loved it, you're really gonna love my final idea. It's something never before done, and it gets everyone involved even watching at home." 

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