Well, I'm guess I'm feeling feisty today, but what the hell...
"The Entertainer" is a game. Pure and simple. And to win it, you must come prepared to play it. This is not an audition, it's a GAME. You must leave any notion of who you are and "art for art sake" at the door.
That said, it behooves any performer--magicians included--that when entering into this kind of game, they must have in their arsenol plenty of bullet-proof material that is audience tested, audience pleasing, and can be performed with practically nothing. You must also have the full-scale stuff because this is, after all, a "Las Vegas" show.
Easy to do? No freakin' way. Could I do it? Most of it, yes, but I don't have the flashy apparatus, but then I would have competed in a totally different way. My life is auditioning for work, so I know of what I speak.
In this case, it seems that Nathan, and I use his first name respectfully because I do not know him personally, did not come fully prepared. There should never have been a time when he felt uneasy because he couldn't perform his "A" material. This should be expected every single day.
Had he prepared properly, he would have gotten a challenge, looked into his notes or his brain, and BINGO, there's the routine I need, or at least, here's the thing I need to quickly adapt.
Remember, this is a GAME. A baseball player doesn't get hit a pop fly and then go looking for "something tough, perhaps leather, to fashion into a glove to put on my hand so that I may catch it better."
If I were comic on the show, I'd have ALL my notebooks with me and would continue working daily to keep up with fresh topical stuff. I need what? 3 minutes of street stuff? No problem. I need to MC? Let me dust off some MC bits. Again, I know comics work years to get 10 quality minutes. But then, they aren't playing this GAME, remember?
If I were the singer, I'd have a complete selection of Pop, Rock, Blues, Broadway, R&B, rap, etc... Then, when the challenge came ... snap ...here it is maestro--hit it! I know dozens of poeple who could do this tomorrow if they had to.
Am I saying any of this is easy? Again, no way, but then this isn't about life here ... it's a hard, hard, game.
Do I mean this to say he is a bad magician? Certainly not, although I admit I think many of the things her performed on the show were derivitive. However, in magic, that's fairly common and admittedly, not all of my routines are totally original gems. So I'll keep away from that.
However, I repeat that I feel that he was not fully prepared to compete in a game like this. Now, I must also admit, hind-sight is 20/20, so perhaps he felt he would be working in more optimal venues. Maybe he was even promised this and, Heaven help us, the producers LIED to him. What shock.
But in this day and age of Reality TV, you can be fairly certain that when you enter a game like this, you better be prepared to perform naked, in the dark, for deaf people. (Hmmm, wintergreen lifesaver anyone?)
Should he have been voted off? Well, his performances were not all that great, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Perhaps he was the best of the lot, but is that saying much?
I would like to see him work in his own milieu, performing his signature pieces. I'm sure it would be a much better show.
And so, I'm not surprised he was not kept on the show, but I am surprised at who WAS kept on the show.
Ultimately, I agree that he will most likely come out smelling like a rose on this. It may be better to fail at a dubious game like this than win by a mile against the talent-challenged.
That would certainly be a case of being damned by faint praise.