Here is the complete list of winners as it appears on magictimes.com:
This year instead of awarding a single overall Grand Prix Award and the title of "World Champion Magician" they have decided to present two awards: Norbert Ferr won the Grand Prix Stage Award and Jason Latimer received the Grand Prix Close-Up Award.
Manipulation: 1- Norbert Ferr* (France), 2- Eun-Gyeol Lee* (Republic Of Korea), 3- Kenji Minemura (Japan).
General Magic: 1- Pat Perry & Archibald* (Switzerland), 2- Simon Pierro (Germany), 3- (a tie): Danny Cole (United States) and Mirko (Argentina).
Stage Illusions: 1- Not Awarded, 2- Prince Of Illusions (The Netherlands), 3- Doctor MarraX (Germany).
Parlour Magic: 1- Not Awarded, 2- (a tie): Ken Bardowicks (Germany) and Chris Joker (Germany), 3- Robert Jagerhorn (Finland).
Mental Magic: 1- Not Awarded, 2- Aaron (Belgium), 3- Chris Joker (Germany).
Micro Magic: 1- Jason Latimer* (United States), 2- (a tie): Nicholas Einhorn (United Kingdom) and Shawn Farquhar (Canada), 3- Ferenc Galambos (Hungary).
Card Magic: 1- Magomigue* (Spain), 2- Gregory Wilson (United States), 3- (a tie): Iňaki (Argentina) and Etienne (United Kingdom).
Invention: Jason Latimer (United States), Jan Ditgen (Germany), Arsene Lupin (Poland).
Comedy Presentation: The Great Nardini (Scotland).
Most Original Act: Pat Perry & Archibald (Switzerland).
*The performers with an "*" next to their names scored high enough to be considered for a Grand Prix award and presented their act once again on Saturday at the Final Gala.
It was also announced that the next FISM convention would take place in Stockholm, Sweden in the summer of 2006. The host society is The Swedish Magic Circle. They have already purchased a website for the convention: www.fism.com
(Meir and I have an agreement that I'm allowed to use his news items once in a while, so I'm not violating his copyright by reproducing his information here.)
My overall impression of FISM was a good one. The Dutch seemed to have everything well scheduled, though I still can't believe they didn't have any video monitors during the lectures. The hotels all jack up their prices for the convention (I've heard) by as much as $100 a night. Just a word to the wise if you're going to go to Sweden in 2006: do some research and book your own hotel room.
They eliminated the category of Comedy Magic from Grand Prix contention, probably because of the controversy some of the past awards have generated. I heard that The Great Nardini from Scotland was screamingly funny, and at least the couple was given a "Best Comedy" award.
What I can't believe was the award for the General Magic category, which went to Pat Perry & Archibald from Switzerland. There was NO magic in this act. It opens with two guys standing in front of some sort of door, which they enter. The front part of the set is then removed and they are seen to be sitting at a card table. HOWEVER, it is a bird's eye view. In other words, the floor has been mounted vertically so it faces the audience, and the table and chairs have been bolted to it. You are looking down at the action, as if you were sitting in a tree and looking down at a picnic taking place beneath you.
They two guys then proceed to play cards, bet with money, drink stuff, etc., all of which sticks to the table. There are a few clever things, but aside from one brief effect (so brief that I can't even remember it), this was a gimmick with no magic. Yet it not only won first prize in the General Magic category, but also most orignal act. Ridiculous! The actual magicians who competed have every right to be steamed. The only place such a stunt would have any valid reason for existence is in a theatrical play where the director wanted to do something "cinematic" and show the action in one scene from above. Of course such a gimmick would detract from whatever dramatic element the scene contained, so it's a lousy idea even in its only conceivable context.
BUT, the audience at the final gala loved it and cheered wildly.