This is a report about one of the German second season shows from 2009. You may also:
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Time for the final tonight (finally!) – “the viewers will decide who will win the title and 100,000 Euro” –, and the three finalists out of the originally 10 contestants are:
Manuel Horeth – wants to start “an impossible mission” “aside from the stage” –, Jan Becker – wants to “create a lifetime connection between two people” (oh dear, that’s gonna be a long show) – and Ully Loup – who allegedly “has only one true friend”, his dog Sina, and who “wants to raise emotions” in his audience, today again with contacting “the crown prince of hell” (see).
the Hungarian David Merlini, invited by Uri Geller, will perform a “spectacular escapologist act – playing a dangerous game with fire”. Or a “specatucular” act, according to the press release. His extreme achievements so far are said to be:
He holds the underwater world record (20 minutes, 39 seconds), spent 33 hours tied in a block of ice and already covered a 100 meter distance in a burning car.
The show begins with a look at the trophy: a glass block with lasered spoon image. At least larger than those you find on rag-fairs… The “spectacular acts” will also take place outside the studio in Cologne and Berlin. That is, video recordings like last year, with all possibilities for tricks in taping and cutting. Well, don’t like that idea that much, let’s hope they actually are spectacular enough.
Contestant 1: Ully Loup
Huh, usually at the end, now as first? So he can’t win. Wants to subdue the forces of nature. “The screen is yours” – the recording shows an alleyway/backyard(?) lit in red. Julia is told to think about one finger of her raised hand, Ully touches each of them and gets a light electric shock at the pretendedly correct one. Ully calls it “spiritual energy”, of coooourse. They enter an empty factory building with mostly blue lighting, Ully’s “lab” with some large electric installations.
First a demonstation: Ully is wearing a metal mesh suit (→ Faraday cage) and (after he guided Julia out of the way) climbs onto a metal plate on large isolators – 1 million volts are running through him, the narrator says, and lightning bolts flicker from fingers and head (with hood) to surrounding metal parts, fire shoots from a (apparently arranged) barrel. Julia is then to enter a solid, coarsly human-shaped wire cage and “if possible turn off her intellect” (never mind, physics work anyway).
He shouts something like “open the gates to hell” after he climbed back up to the small isolated plate (wich is of course supplied with power through a cable), the narrator blithering-idiots about amplification of his mental energy with electricity so he can say something about Julia’s fears. The bolts did eagerly flash from Ully’s wire mesh to Julia’s wire cage. Did she sense something? Nothing special, but Ully got one, feat (if I got that right), something about a non-occuring injury in a dream. Research or arranged, as usual. “Do you want the fear to stop?” Shout it out of the soul – which both do, hugging.
Hm, that were nice electric effects, but nothing worth mentioning in magical terms, and it doesn’t fit Ully’s psycho iage that well. Rather disappointing, compared with his earlier perfomances, I think.
Geller says: “Great act.”
Contestant 2: Manuel Horeth
Wants to “perform burglary without trace”. A video recording from Cologne – with Matthias. Something short with concentration and “football” on a little card to get into the mood. He wants to steal the boxing gloves of Mohammed Ali, they buy tickets at the museum cash desk, unnecessary hypnosis game to save money.
But first something with football (soccer) and what’s called a “Torwand” in German but doesn’t seem to have a proper English word: A wall with a goal painted on it and two circular openings through which people try to kick the ball. Matthias, in this case, and he’s supposed to shoot exactly as Manuel “hypnotises into him” (again with a silly noise dubbed over); Manuel hangs the plan for it in an envelope next to the wall. Matthias kicks 4x, Manuel draws the positions on a board. And they of course match the “old” plan which, as it seems, he was hiding briefly behind a chair. Typical “prediction” trick where the “plan” is drawn and placed later.
Now on to the boxing ring with the gloves in a showcase. Again the idiotic hypnosis concentration sound. A newspaper page is held agains the glass pane, first knocked on it and then the hand’s pushed through – and Matthias can touch the gloves. The camera position always shows the pretendedly pierced pane only exactly from the edge (perspective is often important…). Probably the pane slides up and down between point-of-view changes. As I just see, a video by Criss Angel where it’s explained…linked to
The only positive, in my opinion: There were multiple short tricks instead of one lengthened too much.
Geller: Incredible. Influencing people and stuff. “You are really one of the greatest menalists.”
Contestant 3: Jan Becker
Wants to prove that a connection between two people who really love each other is stronger than any distance. With Charlotte and her sister Henriette in Berlin. Henriette is told to hide somewhere in Berlin (which she doesn’t know that well), she’s got 2 hours time, Charlotte is to find her – scavenger hunt with angel wings drawn with chalk. To find these: “Contact the subconscious”, concentration, blabla. Drawings – well, scribblings – of buildings or something alike, “intuitively drawn”, which they follow one after another. If they’d really be able to follow these scribblings, now that’d be a miracle… Hand on one of the symbols, sense names/places, stuff like that.
Okay, you see a little of Berlin while Henriette watches them on a small monitor – the image of which doesn’t look like it’s really on it but rather stitched in later. One of the locations: a hotel “Art|e Luise” allegedly fits their granny’s name “Elouise” – couldn’t they find anything better?
Since there’s a camera team following Henriette, there’s always a way to whisper something to Jan, of course.
Geller: “Very impressive.”
Me: A hardly impressive waste of time.
The Guest: David Merlini
But first: The phone numbers for the preliminary decision – one of the three will be eliminated, the other two will perfom again later.
After the commercials, Verena announces David (after a short film), and he enters the stage. He wants to escape from a “real straitjacket”, a construction with 3 ropes and a hook below is lowered – the ropes will burn later and he hang headlong. And Charlotte and Matthias are helping him to put on the straitjacket. Charlotte is the one to fasten the belt between the legs…
And finally his feet are put on the hook – by his own assistant, it seems – and the disc between ropes and hook is ignited. He twists around and moans as any good escape artist does, and of course gets rid of the (in the end quite loosely fitting) straitjacket and gets down; in the mean time, two ropes… were apparently cut off remote-controlled, because these thick ropes were just slightly singed and never would have burnt through that quickly.
At least this was better than all three “experiments” before put together. (Which doesn’t say much.)
First a film with scenes from earlier shows. And the Takeshi’s Castle ripoff is advertized, because, oh what a miracle, Charlotte and Matthias will present that starting next week. Third place and the elimination goes to Ully Loup. In my opinion, all three could have been eliminated…
Final duel: Manuel Horeth
Wants to “bring a long journey to an end” – and it’s “the stage is yours” again. The audience is told to look if they got 5€ bills, look in his eyes and hold up the bills. The two ladies are told to collect them – exchange for business cards so they get the money back later. He’s interested in one patricular banknote, by the way. Matthias onto the stage, hypno stuff with “all the money in the world” and “absolute dream” imagined: would buy the Brasilian football player Kaká for Gladbach… and Manuel shows a child’s drawing of a football player when he turns the picture frame he was hiding.
The women put the money into a big glass bowl, Charlotte is no longer needed. Manuel says he made sure that a 5€ bill he spent in a Munich gas station on 13 January (start of the season) comes back to him now. Fr the sake of intuition and coincidence and the like: A “random machine”: glass cylinder with a big fan on top in which he stuffs the banknotes. Finger movement in front of Julia who then grabs a bill from those whirling around with eyes closed; puts it onto a table and is told to read the serial number slowly which he writes down to a board for all to see: M15211875577.
In today’s “daily newspaper” (a Bild), which also the audience have, is a small ad mentioning exactly this number. Prepared bills handed out to the audience? Bill swapped? (But when?) Was the number on the table? (The bill was shown rather late.) Well, we’ve seen worse today.
Geller: “lot of creativity” – the simultaneous translator who usually translates everything Uri says into German seems to have fallen asleep already – “I would be proud if you become my successor”.
Final duel: Jan Becker
Wants to answer all our questions. Well, I got one: When will the show become really entertaining? We at home are told to write that down too, the audience have prepared envelopes (with their initials on) which they and we are told to think about now and “transmit” them to him. One who may stand up wants to become a cook, a woman wonders when she’ll marry, and 2 more – and he again determines everything either during the conversation (cold reading) or pre-arranged. And he gives them encouraging speeches etc. as usual. Same with the celebrities, where research can be added: Charlotte moving; Matthias is promised a 2:0 for Mönchengladbach to avoid relegation; Julia is asked onto the stage, and because she wonders whether she’d stay healthy he “donates” her a “power ritual” – completely with hand on head that no-one is supposed to be able to raise.
Now if he’s actually going to win with this…
And all answers at home are to be answered now, too: close eyes, think about the questions, and we’re supposed to hear a voice in our heads that gives the answer when he says “now”. “It’s not about continuing the magic here” – we are the life, the miracle, etc., and encouraging words for everyone
like from a stereotypical self-awareness coach. He’s overdoing it greatly now.
Geller (with translator again): Could he win? “Absolutely yes”.
First the celebs’ opinions: Julia liked Jan’s giving positive energy, Matthias tends slightly towards Jan, Charlotte clearly. Then Uri grabs the apparently quite heavy trophy, says everything was great, the winner will really deserve it. And if you’re wondering how one could make a decision announcement with only two contestants really long-winded, you just need to watch this…
The winner, “The Next Uri Geller 2009” is: Jan Becker.
Well then at least he can scoop off that line-thing on his head with the bent spoon trophy. Oh no, that’s his “haircut”, I forgot… finally over.
Thanks to all readers and commenters who followed my reports!
Not even the final increased them – on the contrary, these were (by a small difference) the lowest number of viewers in total, the market share being on a similar level as before, and the second-lowest in the target audience: 1.62 million total (5.2% market share) / 1.10 m. aged 14-49 (8.6%).
Farid’s Street Magic show really plummeted: 1.15 million (4.8%) / 0.86 m. (8.1%).