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A bad night for magic on Britain’s Got Talent


This year’s Britain’s Got Talent has been mercifully free of “surprisingly” good mawkish covers of 90’s pop songs delivered by unassuming members of the public, and pleasantly heavy on decent magical acts. Sadly, it’s now down to just one magical act, as bearded escapologist, Matt Johnson, was eliminated following a tense water torture escape that went slightly wrong, and Maddox Dixon’s illusionist act failed to impress the judges. 

Johnson was doing well, but faltered at the last padlock after holding his breath for over two minutes. With paramedics ready to assist, he gestured for a pry bar and released himself from the box to cheers from the audience. Even if Johnson hadn’t slipped up during his performance, the judges were already torn on his occasionally disturbing brand of escapology.  

Maddox Dixon secured himself a strong start in the competition with a well-received Rubik’s cube routine during the auditions, but a weak performance in the semi-finals and strong competition knocked him out of the running.

He started with some passable sleight-of-hand, moved on to an imaginary-card to box trick that failed to impress the judges, and ended with a levitation illusion that looked like the midpoint in a tutorial video. The whole routine was set to a Hans Zimmer track (please, leave Hans alone) and included a monologue so portentous I was convinced the act was self parody until the gimmicked Rubik’s cube came out. Even if Dixon had brought his A-game, he was unlikely to win against The D-Day Darlings, whose mix of military imagery and WW2-era nostalgia is catnip to BGT’s largely boomer audience. 

Quick changers, Ellie and Jeki were also eliminated via a buzzer from Simon Cowell.