When magic is done right it can surprise, amaze or perhaps downright confuse, however when done wrong, it can be messy, awkward, and in some circumstances painful. Unfortunately for our magicians, the tricks in this article are the latter. Join us as we take a look at the top 10 magicians whose “magic” tricks where exposed live on TV.
#10 Teleporting Trick Gone Wrong
This magic trick is made to seem like two people have switched positions by teleportation and the power of magic.
All this takes place inside a raised box behind a small curtain. However, these vanishing/teleportation tricks never seem to go as planned, resulting in a little bit of embarrassment for both the magician and the audience and this trick is no different. In this trick, the curtain actually gives way during the act, and the audience can see the assistant attempting to climb up the ladder.
You’ve got to feel sorry for the guy, especially when you hear the announcers burst into hysterics, but as any good performer, the show must go on and he continues his “trick”.
#9 Rigged Sword Swallowing
Sword swallowing is a dangerous trick to do, and this guy is risking his life performing it out on the streets for tourists, or… is he?
After giving a dramatic speech in front of wide-eyed bystanders the “magician” places the large sword in his mouth, lets the blade hilt go for a while, and then takes it out of his mouth. Once he takes it out of his mouth though, that’s when things go a bit wrong for him. The audience can clearly see through the trick. As you can see, the sword is actually one of those retractable/fake swords where the blade falls back into the handle.
The audience notices and starts laughing and after a brief look of embarrassment, being the showman that he is, laughs it off. Better than getting upset about it, right?
#8 David Blaine Card Trick
David Blaine is a world-famous magician whose real magic in this trick was undoubtedly the way he handled himself after his mistake.
Blaine has been performing magic tricks for over 20 years, so you would think that he’s mastered his tricks by now. But even the most experienced magicians can have their off days. The slightly embarrassing thing with this trick though, is that it isn’t very complex with it being a simple looking card trick.
One of the girls involved with the trick rolls a four on the dice, meaning the next girl should have picked the fourth card along, revealing the six of hearts as the magical card revealed. However, that didn’t go according to the plan and the card that turned up was the ace of hearts. Whoops!
His sleight of hand was to blame for the exposure of the trick. But hey, he makes light of the situation and laughs it off. You’ve got to give the guy credit for his composure in a slightly embarrassing situation, especially with it being broadcast on live TV. Even world-class magicians can get things wrong, right?!
#7 Reality TV Show Trick Gone Wrong
It’s no secret that reality TV shows are famous for witnessing embarrassing and cringe-worthy content, and this trick is no exception. This one is worse for the fact that you can see the judges and live audience’s reaction.
The trick this magician is attempting to do is similar to the Zig Zag girl trick. In this trick, the assistant stands in an upright box sticking various body parts from holes. The magician puts blades through the box, which looks to the audience as if the magician is slicing through.
When the blades go inside the box, the assistants turn their body to the side to fit the shape of the movement of the box and to add to the second part of the illusion. To make it easier for them to make the squeeze into the shape, the blades are actually a lot narrower than they seem, with the full-width handle obscuring the actual side of the blade. When the magician pulls the center segment out to the side, the assistant doesn’t have to do much than just moving their hand slightly.
However, in this clip, the illusion falls short when you see her arm move into position PLUS to make things worse, the fabric falls down that’s covering her body, completely spoiling the illusion for the people who may have missed the earlier mishap.
Once the performance is over, the judges call the magician out on the slip-ups. But instead of accepting the criticism, he blatantly refuses to admit anything went wrong.
#6 Masked Magician Card Trick
Awkwardly enough this magician opened his act saying that this card trick is something people of any age can do, yet funnily enough, he still manages to muck this one up! And with it being on a LIVE talk show, it’s quite a bad time to make a mistake.
The trick is meant to go that the spectator separates a deck of cards into four piles then proceeds to mix them up with the end result being that the aces are on top of each pile at the end of the trick. To do the trick you just need a deck of cards and a bit of magic flair and your good to go!
Although the spectator thinks they’re cutting the cards in a random way, they actually aren’t. It’s a trick that involves cutting the cards in a certain way and as long as you “play your cards right” – sorry, couldn’t resist – you should have four aces along the top.
Everything seems to be going smoothly with the trick until he starts revealing the cards, and they’re not all the aces in the deck as they’re meant to be. Instead of accepting that his trick has gone wrong, he tries to make out that he intended the cards to turn out that way, but it doesn’t seem like the presenter is buying it, or for that matter probably anyone watching it on their television.
Now to be fair to the masked magician, its likely not his fault. The presenter of the show probably didn’t follow the instructions, mucking up his trick and causing a little bit of embarrassment.
#5 Acid Trick Gone Wrong
Sometimes when things go wrong on stage it can be quite humorous, however, this mistake exposing this magician trick was anything but with him receiving chemical burns and having to be rushed to the hospital.
In this trick performed on ‘Vietnam’s Got Talent’, he fills one cup up with diluted acid and the others with something safe to drink. He gets one of the judges to shuffle the glasses and intends to drink everything except the poison.
He goes for the glass with the acid in first and once he’d put it in his mouth, spits it out. But due to swallowing some, the damage has already been done. Being the trooper he is, he actually finished the trick even though you can imagine he must be in a fair bit of pain.
The sad thing is that the judges did nothing to help him despite knowing about the situation. They laughed, instead. Not cool.
Thankfully, despite suffering from second-degree burns to his lips and mouth, he survived after a few days in the hospital. In later media reports, the magician blamed everything on stage fright, though some have speculated it was all planned, to draw attention to the show and himself.
#4 Another card trick gone wrong
What’s that saying again; don’t perform with children? Well, this trick is no exception. You would think that children can be easy to fool when it comes to magic. But all it takes is one to notice what’s going on and it can muck up your trick for good!
The magician doesn’t even get that far into the trick before Murray picked him up on things. Oh, Murray! The audience seems to love it. However, the magician was speechless for a second before quickly recovering. He even got Murray an extra round of applause for being so smart.
#3 Chris Angel Flying
Criss Angel was a big household name in the magic world back in the early 2000s and was known for his extravagant tricks, such as walking on the side of buildings, making huge objects appear out of nowhere, and also levitating.
Yet, One of his levitating tricks came under scrutiny due to its budget looking editing. It is surprising, as you’d think they’d put a lot of effort into editing such a trick. After all, Angel holds many world records under his name. He has been the highest-ranking magician placed in prime time television. But, if you recap the clips, the visuals are all over the place. With the sky looking different in each shot, it ‘s obvious that they filmed multiple takes.
Also, after the trick has played, they showed a time-lapse of the flight. Funnily enough, this time-lapse doesn’t match up with the previous shots, as a person is missing from one, and not the other.
It even looks very obvious that a wire is holding him. It sways as he levitates and it isn’t very smooth. And it seems like when they can’t remove the wires in post-production, they conveniently opt for shots not showing the area above his head.
Also, the responses from the ‘spectators’ couldn’t have looked more acted if they tried.
#2 Walking On Water
Dynamo is known to perform tricks that leave people astounded. One of his tricks that does just that is his walking on water illusion. However, it may not be as mystical and magical as it first seems. It’s not like he’s walking with some inflatable shoes. Instead, it’s all done with a clear Plexiglas platform slightly under the water’s surface. Add that combined with a magician who is acting like he is walking on water and you have yourself a neat little trick!
Dynamo has done this trick a few times before, however, this time something went a bit wrong! The Police boat which was there to pick him up after his walk on water, bumped across the Plexiglas platform while driving away. The spectators laugh so loud that the people on the boat look back. Needless to say, I think Dynamo may have been feeling a little frustrated!
#1 Levitating above the shard
This is another trick from Dynamo, but instead of plexiglass, it’s with wires. He conducted this performance in London and wowed onlookers as he levitated 1,000 feet above the ground!
However … he was soon to come under criticism when the public took to social media to show the rest of the world that you can actually see the wires supporting him.
It doesn’t seem that Dynamo was fazed by the comments as he said that the images were taken at a rehearsal of the trick and that the wires were removed for the real thing. Whatever tricks he used to levitate, it takes a lot of guts to hang out on top of the tallest building in Europe.
Which one did you think was most embarrassing for the magicians? Let me know in the comments down below – Till next time!