#4: Drew Thomas Magic (Season 4)
Mario & Jenny should have known better than to do a complete 180 with the direction of their act. They should have known because Drew Thomas had made the exact same mistake only a week before.
Drew Thomas came in at a time when magicians were still known on AGT for doing one thing and one thing only: Disappointing. Drew Thomas was expected to continue the tradition.
The judges’ curious decision to put only one magician in their Top 40 for the season compounded those expectations. America had already seen Kevin James turn into a waste of time as soon as all of his rival magicians had been eliminated, and the expectations were that Thomas would feel safe and secure during his first round as well.
Fortunately, Thomas’s first performance was actually. . . Well, mixed, to be fair. He pulled off a fairly impressive illusion, albeit one that had previously been performed by Val Valentino, AKA: The Masked Magician, during the two-year run of Breaking the Magician’s Code: Magic’s Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed. As such, revelation articles and “how to” videos on Youtube surfaced before the results had even been declared.
Fortunately for Thomas, if the reveals did not surface before the votes had been tallied, they had no effect on it. Thomas made it into the semifinals.
Thomas’s success came at the expense of Thia Megia, who placed in the Top 10 during the last season of American Idol. On AGT, she qualified only for the judges’ choice and was rejected two to one in favor of Arcadian Broad (a decision that is only not remembered as the most boneheaded decision of the season because of what they did the week after).
Thomas had finally broken the pattern of magicians bombing in the first round, and at the expense of one of the early favorites to win it all no less.
Unfortunately, Thomas returned to tradition in the semifinals, with a dull “sentimental” performance involving his daughter and some cheap shadowboxes.
For this performance, Thomas even recycled the toolbox, a prop absolutely crucial to the execution of his prior performance. So not only did Thomas deliver a bomb of a performance, he ruined his prior illusion in the process.
And this was the performer America had allowed one of the early favorites to win it all go home early in favor of.
Just think: If Thomas had just bombed in the first round like most of his predecessors had done, the dynamics of the semifinals would have been vastly different.
Which would have also meant a different Top 10 set. Which could have prevented the victory from being awarded to Kevin Skinner, a man whom even Kevin Federline can boast having sold more albums than.